Lebanon needs help, friends say

Sept. 27, 2013 at 11:49 AM

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 27 (UPI) -- Lebanon must take responsibility for ensuring its own security but it needs support from the international community, the British foreign secretary said.

Foreign ministers gathered to discuss Lebanon's security Thursday from the sidelines of the 68th session of the U.N. General Assembly following the end of the general debate.

Lebanon's security is jeopardized by civil war raging in neighboring Syria. A series of recent bombings inside Lebanese territory were seen as a response to Hezbollah's support for pro-government forces in Syria.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Lebanon needs help with addressing the influx of Syrian refugees and support on the national security front. Its commitment to national security must include a "policy of disassociation from the Syrian conflict," he said in a statement.

The U.S. Defense Department confirmed Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel met with Lebanese President Michel Suleiman during Thursday's conference. The U.S. government has expressed frustration with Hezbollah's meddling in Syrian affairs.

Suleiman told the U.N. General Assembly his country needed support from its allies "to face the negative repercussions of the external conflicts."

"There is no doubt that Lebanon's stability is in all of our interests, but we must invest in that stability," added Hague.

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