Lebanese PM to discuss Mideast tension with Obama

Hariri's Washington visit comes amid Israeli claims Hizbullah has acquired Scud missiles from Syria

May 24, 2010 14:40
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri

saad hariri 311. (photo credit: AP)


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BEIRUT — Lebanon's prime minister will discuss Mideast security issues and peace efforts with US President Barack Obama Monday during his first official visit to Washington as premier.

Sa'ad Hariri's visit comes amid regional tensions over Israeli claims that Hizbullah has acquired Scud missiles transferred from Syria.

Syria denied the accusations and Hariri has compared them to the false American charges that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction ahead of the 2003 US-led invasion.

The Iranian-backed group has refused to confirm or deny the claims.

It is not clear if Obama will raise with Hariri the issue of Hizbullah's weapons.

A Lebanese government official said Hariri will tell Obama that recent Israeli rhetoric is "threatening to create an explosive situation" in the region and would discuss with him ways of protecting Lebanon.

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