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Visiting Lebanon PM seeks to temper Washington’s anti-Hezbollah zeal

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri is fighting back against aid cuts and new sanctions.
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., July 25, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria - RTX3CVT2

Lebanon is pushing back against US pressure on Hezbollah for fear that efforts from the Donald Trump administration and Congress could destabilize the fragile state.

The Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) face the prospect of losing all military assistance under the State Department's fiscal year 2018 budget request, while Congress is taking new action to expand sanctions on Hezbollah. The cuts to the Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program would hit the country particularly hard, as the LAF, with the help of Hezbollah, is securing the war-torn Syrian border from the Islamic State (IS), al-Qaeda and other militants.

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