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Obama, Hariri discuss progress on bilateral, regional issues

Barack Obama commended Saad Hariri for carrying on his father`s legacy.



Washington: US President Barack Obama and Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri have reviewed the progress on bilateral and regional issues, including Arab-Israeli peace process and Iran, the White House said.

"The President and Prime Minister reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening Lebanon`s sovereignty and independence and to continuing a wide-ranging and long-term partnership between the US and Lebanon," the White House said in a statement following the meeting.

"They reviewed progress on bilateral and regional issues, such as our work toward a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace and implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions 1701, 1680, and 1559," the statement said.

Obama stressed the importance of efforts to ensure Iran complies with its international non-proliferation obligations, and the threat posed by the transfer of weapons into Lebanon in violation of relevant UNSC resolution.

During the meeting, Obama commended Hariri for his leadership and for carrying on his father`s legacy, and congratulated him on Lebanon`s term as President of the UN Security Council, where Lebanon is contributing to upholding international peace and security.

Hariri also held separate meetings with Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Jeff Feltman and Special Envoy for the Middle East George Mitchell.

They consulted on a broad range of issues regarding Lebanon`s sovereignty and independence and regional peace and security, the State Department spokesman PJ Crowley said.

The Lebanese Prime Minister is scheduled to meet Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and Senator John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Meanwhile, US Vice-President Joe Biden also held a meeting with Hariri and expressed his country`s commitment to strengthen Lebanon`s sovereignty and independence.

"The vice-president pledged continued US assistance to build the institutions of the Lebanese state, including the Lebanese Armed Forces and Internal Security Forces," the White House said.

Biden and Hariri also agreed on the importance of achieving comprehensive Middle East peace.

PTI

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