Ahmadinejad Lebanon parade 311 ap.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that,"The United States supports the integrity and sovereignty of Lebanon. We reject any efforts to destabilize or inflame tensions within Lebanon," referring
to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's arrival in Beirut on
Wednesday, AFP reported.
Analysis: Ahmadinejad to issue warning in Lebanon
Is Hizbullah trying to take over Lebanon with Iran's help?
Ahmadinejad met with Lebanese President
Michel Suleiman earlier Wednesday and was scheduled to meet with
Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah later the same day.
The Iranian president said at a press conference that that Lebanon and Iran are fighting the Zionists together.
“We support Lebanon fully, and we call for the liberation of occupied lands in Lebanon and in Syria,” he said.
Ahmadinejad said of Lebanon, "I feel like I am at home, like I am in my country."
The Iranian president presented a gift to the president, which
was only described as a "state of the art device owned by only six
countries across the globe." He said that the
device would be useful for scientific research.
"We seek a unified, modern Lebanon, and we stand by the Lebanese government and people," Ahmadinejad said. "We have both common interests and enemies."
Suleiman went on to thank his Iranian partner for Iran's support,
saying, "I assured Ahmadinejad that Lebanon is keen to oblige Israel on
implementing UN Security Council resolutions." He
continued, "We also discussed international terrorism and how to
differentiate it from the resistance."
Speaking about Iran's controversial nuclear program, the Lebanese
president said that he stresses "the right of states, including Iran, to
acquire nuclear energy and use it for peaceful purposes."
At the press conference, the two presidents announced that they had
signed bilateral memoranda of understanding on economic, trade,
environmental and energy issues.
Earlier Wednesday, thousands of Lebanese — mostly Hizbullah backers —
lined the main highway into the capital from Beirut's airport, where
Ahmadinejad arrived Wednesday. Loudspeakers blasted songs as women sold
Hizbullah flags and balloons to onlookers.The Lebanese daily Assafir reported
that Ahmadinejad may hold a tripartite meeting with Turkish Prime
Minster Tayyip Erdogan and Lebanese Prime Minister Sa'ad Hariri on Friday.
The paper reported that the Iranian president extended his trip so the three can meet "amid major headlines."
Ahmadinejad is expected to visit battlegrounds of the Second Lebanon War
in southern Lebanon, including Bint Jbail and Maroun a-Ras on Wednesday
and Thursday, and reportedly wants to go to the border with Israel and
throw rocks at IDF soldiers.