Pompeo Says Former Administrations were Lax in 'Reining in' Hizbullah
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday voiced regret that the previous U.S. administrations did not do much to “rein in” Hizbullah.
Pompeo made the remarks in an interview with Al-Arabiya television on the eve of an official visit to Lebanon.
The top U.S. diplomat hopes to use his first visit to Lebanon to step up pressure on Hizbullah and its regional backer Iran. But he is likely to face resistance even from Washington's Lebanese allies, who fear that pushing too hard could spark a backlash and endanger the tiny country's fragile peace.
Hizbullah wields more power than ever in parliament and the government.
Pompeo will meet Friday with President Michel Aoun and will also hold talks with Speaker Nabih Berri and Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil -- all three of whom are close Hizbullah allies. He will also meet with Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who is close to the West but has opted to strike a political settlement with Hizbullah.