December 8, 2011
US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman said in a press conference in Beirut on Wednesday that “maintaining and strengthening this consensus to send a message to Syria is very important,” a Press TV correspondent reported.
Feltman arrived in Beirut on Wednesday to hold talks with Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati and other officials “on a range of issues, including the situation in Syria.”
Elie el-Hindy, an assistant professor at Notre Dame University in Lebanon, told Press TV that Lebanon is definitely part of the US interests in the Middle East.
“Definitely, any measures against Syria would not be as effective as Lebanon is not on board,” Hindy said.
On November 27, the Arab League approved unprecedented sanctions against Syria, including a freeze on assets possessed by the Syrian government and an embargo on investments for projects in the country. Lebanon and Iraq abstained from the vote.
Hindy said, “I think this is a fine line that the Lebanese government has so far played pretty well.”
“We can see and understand very well the reasons of Feltman’s visit and the message he is trying to pass to the Lebanese government,” the Notre Dame University academic said.
“The point is to see to which extent they (Lebanese government) would be able to remain neutral in that sense or the international community would consider them as allies to Syria and probably try to take measures against them as well,” he added.