Tillerson Says Hariri 'Strong Partner', Warns against Using Lebanon for 'Proxy Conflicts'

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U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned other countries Friday against using Lebanon for "proxy conflicts" following a crisis triggered by Prime Minister Saad Hariri's resignation.

Tillerson also described Hariri, who announced his resignation November 4 from Saudi Arabia, as a "strong partner" of the United States.

"The United States cautions against any party, within or outside Lebanon, using Lebanon as a venue for proxy conflicts or in any manner contributing to instability in that country," Tillerson said in a statement.

Hariri's resignation came as a shock. He accused Iran-backed Hizbullah of controlling Lebanon.

Many observers saw his stepping down as being directed by Saudi Arabia, Iran's big rival in the region.

Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Friday accused Saudi Arabia of "detaining" Hariri and of asking Israel to launch strikes on Lebanon.

Earlier Friday, while traveling in Asia, Tillerson told reporters he had received assurances from the Saudis that Hariri himself had decided to resign.

Tillerson also said he had no indication that Hariri was being held against his will in the oil-rich kingdom.

In a message that seemed aimed mainly at Iran and Hizbullah, Tillerson's statement said: "There is no legitimate place or role in Lebanon for any foreign forces, militias or armed elements other than the legitimate security forces of the Lebanese state -- which must be recognized as the sole authority for security in Lebanon."

Hariri's situation was not completely clear. But calls mounted, including from his Lebanese political rivals, for Saudi Arabia to guarantee the prime minister's freedom of movement.

Hariri's resignation coincided with a sweeping purge among the Saudi kingdom's elite, ostensibly over embezzlement accusations.

Hariri, who was born in Saudi Arabia, did not say when he would return to Lebanon, where President Michel Aoun has yet to formally accept his resignation.

Comments 4
Thumb tric.portugal 10 November 2017, 21:37

"The United States cautions against any party, within or outside Lebanon, using Lebanon as a venue for proxy conflicts or in any manner contributing to instability in that country," Tillerson said in a statement."
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but USA is supporting the instability of Lebanon...Trump must finished the work of Obama to promoted the final extremination of the Cristhians in the "Great" Lebanon...the mission of USA in the Planeth Earth is extreminated the roots of Cristhianity...and nothing that finished the work to comemorated the 100 aniversary of the State of Israel...

Thumb thepatriot 10 November 2017, 22:29

tric... don't they have a Portuguese forum or something...personally... I don't have the energy to decipher your jibrish anymore... on another hand... you are quite entertaining so... hmm... that'a ... "tricky" one...

Thumb tric.portugal 10 November 2017, 23:31

no, my friend, i´m quite scared about the knife that the Saudis put in the Head of the Cristhians in Lebanon after what is happening to the Cristhians in Levant...the same modus operandi that the Daesh...

Thumb Elemental 10 November 2017, 23:48

Why do you pretend to care for Christians?