Reports: Tillerson to Visit Lebanon Soon

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will soon visit Lebanon and his talks with Lebanese leaders will tackle the upcoming parliamentary elections, media reports said.

Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Satterfield is already in Lebanon for meetings with Lebanese officials. He arrived in Beirut on Tuesday.

According to al-Akhbar newspaper, Tillerson will arrived in Lebanon in mid-February on a one-day visit during which he will meet with President Michel Aoun, Speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil.

The daily noted that the agenda of Satterfield's visit is not linked to that of Tillerson.

“Tillerson's visit to Beirut is part of a regional tour that involves Egypt, Jordan and Turkey. He will also participate in a ministerial meeting for the international anti-terror coalition in the Kuwaiti capital on February 13,” al-Akhbar said.

It quoted Beirut-based Western diplomatic sources as saying that the U.S. top diplomat's visit will focus on the upcoming parliamentary polls.

“The regional files will also be part of Tillerson's agenda, in addition to the topics that were discussed during Hariri's last visit to the U.S. capital and the preparations for the Paris, Brussles and Rome conferences,” the sources added.

As for Satterfield's visit, the sources said the U.S. official will focus on “the issue of demarcating the maritime border between Lebanon and the Israeli enemy and will attempt to contain the latest tensions between the Lebanese and Israeli sides over the occupation forces' construction of a border wall.”

Satterfield's talks will also tackle Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman's latest threats over the offshore gas block dubbed Block 9.

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