U.S. continues funding for Lebanon

Oct. 13, 2011 at 10:24 AM
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BEIRUT, Lebanon, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- Washington issued a waiver that allowed the continuation of foreign aid to the Lebanese government, the U.S. Embassy in Beirut said.

Funding for Lebanon was at risk because of issues related to human trafficking. The embassy said Washington expressed appreciation for the work done by Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati in combating trafficking in people.

Lawmakers in the United States have threatened to withhold funding to Lebanon because of security concerns related to Shiite resistance movement Hezbollah, which has ministers in the Lebanese government.

Hezbollah, in a statement published through its al-Manar new service, said the latest prisoner swap between Israel and Hamas was a boost for the resistance.

"Hezbollah voices its pleasure ... with the huge victory achieved by the resistance in Palestine," it said.

The U.S. State Department in an updated travel advisory for Lebanon warned U.S. citizens to be wary of the potential for violence on Hezbollah strongholds in southern Lebanon.

The warning added that travel to Lebanon was ill-advised at this time because of kidnapping threats and the potential security fallout from the ongoing investigation into the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

The U.N.-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon named four members of Hezbollah as key suspects in the case.

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