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U.S. Lawmaker: Hizbullah Is Rearming, Lebanese Government Becoming More Subordinate to Iran and Syria

The Lebanese government is increasingly "subordinate" to Iran and Syria, who have been helping Hizbullah rearm, a top U.S. lawmaker told U.N. special envoy Terje Roed-Larsen.

Republican Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told the diplomat on Tuesday that she was "concerned" U.S. and U.N. efforts in Lebanon were failing to counter Hizbullah's growing power.

"Hizbullah, with the help of Iran and Syria, is massively rearming, the Lebanese government is becoming more and more subordinate to Iran and Syria, and the line between the Lebanese Armed Forces and Hizbullah is gradually being erased," she said in a statement summarizing their meeting.

"We need to have a clear vision of what the end-state is and how we can achieve it.

"Above all, we must protect the security of the U.S. and our allies, uphold Lebanon's sovereignty, and ensure that those responsible for (late) Prime Minister (Rafik) Hariri's murder are held responsible," the Florida lawmaker added.

Roed-Larsen has been overseeing U.N. Security Council Resolution 1559, a text adopted in 2004 by the 15-member body that calls for "the disbanding and disarmament" of all militias in Lebanon.(AFP)


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