Aoun Affirms to U.S. Official Keenness on Defense Strategy Talks

President Michel Aoun on Thursday told a visiting U.S. official that he is determined to call for national dialogue over a national defense strategy for the country.

Thanking the U.S. for the assistance it is offering to the Lebanese Army, Aoun reiterated his announcement that he is “determined to call for national dialogue over a defense strategy after the formation of the new government.”

Aoun voiced his remarks in a meeting with U.S. official Robert Karem, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. The meeting was also attended by U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Elizabeth Richard.

In an apparent reference to the U.S. sanctions on Iran, Aoun emphasized that “Lebanon is committed to combating any activity related to financing terrorism or laundering money.”

“The related laws in Lebanon are being implemented firmly and accurately and the international financial institutions have acknowledged this,” the president told the U.S. visitor.

Karem for his part said he was pleased to meet Aoun as he highlighted Washington's

“appreciation of the efforts he has exerted to develop the capabilities of the Lebanese Army,” Lebanon's National News Agency said.

He also expressed his country's desire to “reinforce ties between the Lebanese and U.S. militaries,” explaining Washington's stance on the situations in Lebanon and the region, NNA added.

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