Lebanon slams US move to suspend military aid
Lebanon on Tuesday slammed the U.S. decision to suspend military aid after last week's clash with Israel, saying it was unwarranted and weakens American-backed attempts to build up its national forces. The chairman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Howard Berman, conveyed Monday he suspended $100 million in assistance to the Lebanese Armed Forces on Aug. 2.
"The U.S. government is quite familiar with the reliability and importance of the Lebanese armed forces as a central institution in our country's quest for peace and security and for asserting state authority throughout the country," Mohammed Shatah, an adviser to Prime Minister Saad Hariri, told The Associated Press.
"The last thing that the U.S. or any other friend of Lebanon should do is to weaken the effort to build up our national army," he said.
According to him, government officials were contacting Washington "to make sure that there is a better and fuller understanding of the situation in Lebanon and along the border."