Clinton Said Moderation Is Lebanon's Best Hope
The New York Times reported Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived in Lebanon on Sunday for a lightning visit to express support for this fragile country, six weeks before crucial parliamentary elections in which the Islamic military group Hezbollah is expected to make significant gains.
While Clinton said the choice of a government was up to the Lebanese people, the United States which classified Hezbollah as terrorist organization, clearly hoped to bolster the electoral prospects of the existing majority, a coaliition of Sunni Muslim and Christian parties.
"It won't surprise you to hear that I think moderation is important in the affair states," Clinton said after meeting the president, Michel Suleiman, a formerly chief of the armed forces who stays above the political fray.
The United States has given more than $1 billion in aid to Lebanon in 2006, including $410 million for its security forces. Troops have taken part in American police training programs.
According to the Boston Herald News, the Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Washington supports the "voices of moderation" and will never betray Lebanon by making a deal with Syria jeopardizing Lebanon's interests.
Yesterday's pledge to support Lebanon came just nearly two months before elections where Iranian-backed Hezollah and its allies could win possibly paving the route for renewed Syrian influence over Lebanon.