Lebanon Is Fighting A Group That Has Seats In Its Government

President Donald Trump meets with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington Tuesday July 25 2017

"I'm very happy to announce that with zero of the Democrats' votes, the motion to proceed on health care has just passed", Trump said during a joint White House press conference with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri. What is your position towards these sanctions and on the role of Hezbollah is playing in the region and Syria?

The leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah said on Wednesday that the group was close to defeating Nusra Front militants in the battle along the Syrian-Lebanese border.

"We are seeking to develop partnership with the bank (World Bank) to be able to improve the Lebanese economy, particularly at this hard stage, whether in respect to growth in Lebanon or the deficit from which we are suffering in light of the presence of the displaced Syrians", he added. The new legislation also requires the administration to produce a semi-annual report on foreign financial institutions that support the US-designated terrorist group.

While acknowledging that the Trump national security team is "far more hawkish" than that of Barack Obama, "much of the focus on Lebanon is tied to an nearly obsessive focus on Hizbollah", said Mr Nerguizian. Hezbollah also holds considerable influence in the country's parliament.

Trump demurred when asked to comment on possible additional sanctions against Hezbollah.

Since the onset of the Syrian conflict, almost 1.5 million refugees have poured into Lebanon - around a quarter of its population - where most languish in severe poverty.

"I have meetings with some of my very expert military representatives and others", Trump added.

Trump, who has sought to halt the acceptance of Syrian refugees into the United States and vowed cuts to U.S. foreign aid programmes, stressed the importance of helping people close to home and said the USA would continue to provide humanitarian support to efforts in Lebanon. "In fact, Hezbollah controls the government of which Hariri is prime minister".

Earlier this month, the Washington Post reported the Trump administration had allegedly planned to cancel a CIA-funded program to train Syrian rebels fighting against Assad's government.

So while it is easy for Trump to view everything through his usual "Them: bad, us: good" lens, in reality, as far as Hariri and Hezbollah are concerned, much like your Facebook relationship status with that ex you still occasionally see, it's complicated. "Hezbollah we have, you know, in the government".

Hariri noted that previous ceasefires have not resolved the Syrian war and a solution for the conflict will ultimately only come through a political process.

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