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Lebanese PM Saad Hariri and Donald Trump Discuss ISIS, Syrian Refugees

Lebanese PM Saad Hariri and Donald Trump Discuss ISIS, Syrian Refugees

Prime Minister Saad Hariri detailed the security, economic, political, and diplomatic challenges Lebanon faces in a tumultuous Middle East. Carnegie President William J. Burns introduced the event, and Carnegie's Michele Dunne moderated.

"Hezbollah is a menace to the Lebanese state, the Lebanese people and the entire region", Trump said while standing beside Hariri. "I certainly think that what he's done to that country and to humanity is disgusting".

Tony Badran, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, wrote that Trump's praise for and encouragement of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) as a counter-force to Hezbollah is misplaced because Hezbollah controls Lebanon.

UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said last week that the next round of intra-Syria talks in Geneva will take place in early September.

US President Donald Trump said that he won't let Syrian President Bashar al-Assad get away with the "horrible" actions he has done, the media reported.

He added: "The group continues to increase its military arsenal, which threatens to start yet another conflict with Israel, constantly fighting them back".

"In Lebanon, we are fighting ISIS and al-Qaeda", the prime minister clarified.




Hezbollah's "true interests are those of itself and its sponsor, Iran", he said.

The US, as well as the United Kingdom, has channelled hundreds fo billions of dollars towards Lebanon in a bid to bolster the country against IS. Aoun named Hariri prime minister as part of a compromise deal of sorts, and while Hariri has an adversarial relationship with the organization, its members nonetheless have significant power within the government.

During his Tuesday press conference with Hariri, Trump responded to a question asking for his stance on the sanctions bill by stating that he would make his position "very clear" within the next 24 hours.

Officials in Lebanon have raised concerns that US efforts to widen sanctions on Hezbollah could damage the banking industry because of the group's widespread influence in their country.

The US has long struggled with its narrative on Hezbollah, presenting them as straightforward terrorists while simultaneously coping with the reality that they're a powerful political movement.

Saad Hariri is prime minister of Lebanon. "I believe that maybe the United States also could help in solving this issue in the Gulf".

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