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Hariri hosts Pompeo at Washington ranch

Prime Minister Saad Hariri hosted U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for lunch at his ranch near Washington Saturday, meeting for the second time since the premier traveled to the capital last Monday.

Saturday’s lunch also included Pompeo’s wife Susan and Hariri’s family.

Following his first meeting with Pompeo Thursday, Hariri ruled out the possibility of the sanctions hitting Hezbollah’s allies.

“There are always sanctions [on Hezbollah] threatening Lebanon. But it is my duty as prime minister to spare the Lebanese state these sanctions and to avoid any impact on the Lebanese economy. Hence, we are keen to maintain constant communications with the U.S. administration,” Hariri told a group of journalists.

The U.S. has in recent years stepped up sanctions on Hezbollah and its patron Iran.

Pompeo said during a joint news conference with the premier that he told Hariri about “strong concerns” over Hezbollah and “reiterated that U.S. sanctions against Hezbollah members and its supporters will continue.”

Pompeo also said the U.S. was ready to act as “a mediator and facilitator” in maritime border talks with Israel. He reiterated his country’s support for Lebanon’s stability and sovereignty. Source: The Daily Star

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