JERUSALEM (JTA) — Hillary Rodham Clinton made a surprise visit to Lebanon.
"The United States will never make any deal with Syria that sells out Lebanon and the Lebanese people," the U.S. secretary of state told reporters after talks in Beirut with President Michel Suleiman.
Clinton visited the country six weeks before national elections. Parties affiliated with the Iranian-backed Hezbollah could claim victory, which again could bring Syrian influence on Israel’s neighbor to the north.
During her three-hour visit, Clinton laid a wreath at the grave of slain Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who was assassinated four years ago. The killing precipitated the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon.