Lebanese soldiers watch Israeli workers building the border wall near Naquora. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)
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Acting U.S. Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs David Satterfield visited southern Lebanon Thursday before presenting proposals to President Michel Aoun on ways to maintain stability along the border with Israel.The diplomat has worked extensively in the region and was U.S. ambassador to Lebanon from 1998 to 2001 .During a meeting between Aoun, Satterfield and current U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Elizabeth Richard, discussions revolved around developments in south Lebanon in light of recent tensions with Israel over a wall construction project along the border and disputed maritime territory. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim toured the southern border, one day after Israel began building the barrier. Sources said that Satterfield and Ibrahim witnessed the construction firsthand before they met with UNIFIL commander Maj. Reuters reported that the U.S. envoy assured Lebanon that Israel does not seek an escalation between the countries following a surge in hostile rhetoric.Aoun, speaking to officials during the Cabinet meeting, also said that several countries were mediating, including the U.S.
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