U.S. Says Israeli Withdrawal from Lebanon Must Be in Tandem with Provisions for Israel’s Security

The State Department stressed today that the United States continues to believe that Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon “must be” in tandem with provisions for sesecurity of Israel’s northern border.

“Lebanon has been and is a tortured country with all kinds of problems, “State Department spokesman John Hughes said. “To a large extent, those problems are caused by the presence of foreign forces of different nationalities.”

Hughes said that the United States’ goal remains “the removal of all foreign forces from Lebanon.” He noted that Israel was not the only foreign force there although he did not directly name Syria. But he stressed that another United States goal was that the “security of Israel’s northern border must be in tandem” with Israeli withdrawal from south Lebanon.

Hughes had no comment on the United Nations Security Council hearing scheduled for the afternoon on Lebanon’s complaints about Israel’s activities in south Lebanon. “We hope for a constructive outcome of the debate,” he said.

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