General Michel Aoun, President of Lebanon waits to speak during the 72nd session of the General Assembly at the United Nations in New York on September 21,2017. / AFP / TIMOTHY A. CLARY
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President Michel Aoun Friday distanced himself from a U.S. interview in which he allegedly linked the fate of Hezbollah's arms to an overall peace settlement for the Arab-Israeli conflict and the war in Syria.The interview was conducted by Al-Monitor news website while Aoun was in New York this week to attend the U.N. General Assembly.In another statement issued later Friday, Aoun's media office said some Lebanese media outlets used excerpts of the interview that were also taken out of context.Al-Monitor published the interview with Aoun Thursday in which he allegedly said that Hezbollah's weapons were necessary as long as Israel maintained its aggressive policies against Lebanon.They are observers and Lebanon cannot give them ... a mission to inspect the homes of the people to see if they have weapons or not". He said UNIFIL's work was to observe the borders of Lebanon and Israel and to monitor the number of Israeli aircraft violations across Lebanese borders.
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