Lebanon News

Feltman arrives in Lebanon, holds talks with Jumblatt

BEIRUT: U.S. official Jeffrey Feltman arrived in Lebanon Tuesday at the head of an American delegation and launched his two-day trip with a meeting with Progressive Socialist Party head MP Walid Jumblatt.

Feltman, U.S. assistant secretary of state for near eastern affairs, arrived at Rafik Hariri International Airport late Tuesday after his flight from London had been delayed.

Senator Joseph Lieberman, a member of the delegation, arrived earlier in the day from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and later met with Jumblatt at the latter's resident in Clemenceau, Beirut.

Feltman is also expected to meet with President Michel Sleiman, Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri during his two-day visit.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton contacted Sleiman Monday via telephone and the two discussed recent regional and international developments as well as means to boost bilateral ties.

Feltman's last visit to Beirut was in February to offer his condolences over the death of former MP and Cabinet Minister Nassib Lahoud.

Meanwhile, Wiam Wahhab’s Arab Tawheed Party denounced Feltman's visit, describing it as "provocative."

In a statement issued Tuesday, the Tawheed party said that Feltman's visit “cannot be placed in the context of diplomatic relations, which are usually between states, because it involves a provocative task and one that brings discord” to Lebanon.

His visit, Tawheed said, reflects blatant U.S. intervention in Lebanon's internal affairs.

The party also accused the U.S. of dictating policy to Lebanon and sabotaging the historical relations between Lebanon and Syria.

Tawheed called on Lebanese officials to convey to Feltman a firm message: "Those who involve themselves in the Syria crisis will be adversely affected by it."

 

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