US 'committed' to supporting poor Lebanon army

U.S. is working to overcome a Congressional block on funding for Lebanon's armed forces, a Pentagon official said.

US 'committed' to supporting poor Lebanon army

 

The United States is working to overcome a Congressional block on funding for Lebanon's armed forces, a Pentagon official said on Wednesday.

Last month two Democratic lawmakers said they were holding up $100 million of U.S. funding for Lebanon's army after a cross-border with nuclear Israel.

Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy, speaking after talks in Beirut with Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, said the United States was committed to supporting Lebanon's armed forces.

"We are working closely with members of the U.S. Congress to resolve the concerns they have over this assistance," she said in a statement after the meeting.

Washington has provided $720 million to Lebanon's poorly equipped army since 2006. It says the aid aims to strengthen the military which is seen inadequate against Israeli attacks. Israel attacked Beirut in a 34-day war in which Hezbollah defended Lebanon three years ago.

But after last month's border clash, in which two Lebanese soldiers, a Lebanese journalist and a Israeli officer were killed, some pro-Israel U.S. politicians opposed the funding."

The U.S. State Department said it was not aware that any U.S. equipment had been used during the Aug. 3 clash.

Reuters

Last Mod: 22 Eylül 2010, 17:46
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