Wehbe Meets Shea, Requests Files Justifying Recent Sanctions

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Caretaker Foreign Minister Charbel Wehbe met Monday with U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea at the Foreign Ministry in Beirut.

Talks tackled “bilateral ties, means to enhance them and America’s support and assistance for Lebanon in many fields, in addition to the issue of sea border demarcation negotiations, the return of refugees to their country, and the phase of transition from the current administration to the new administration in the U.S.,” the Ministry said in a statement.

Discussions also touched on the recent U.S. sanctions against three Lebanese politicians.

Wehbe told Shea that “Lebanese authorities including the judiciary hope to obtain any information or documents on which the U.S. administration relied in taking those measures,” the statement said.

In an interview published earlier, Wehbe described the meeting with Shea as an “ordinary” visit, noting that he wanted to discuss with her “a host of issues that concern our two countries.”

“We are among the friends of the United States and we have historic relations and broad and various common interests,” the minister noted.

“We must not forget that we are going through a critical period in which the U.S. has a major role,” Wehbe added, citing Washington’s roles in the sea border demarcation talks, military support for the army and the international investigations into the August 4 port explosion.

Asked about the latest U.S. sanctions on several Lebanese politicians, Wehbe said “this issue will certainly be on the meeting’s agenda.”

“We are very interested in knowing the foundations on which the sanctions on ex-ministers Jebran Bassil, Ali Hassan Khalil and Youssef Fenianos were based, and our embassy in Washington had submitted a request to obtain (documents) incriminating these officials, at the instructions of the president of the republic,” Wehbe added.

“We and the United States respect international laws aiming to combat corruption and what we are seeking is to obtain the documents that led to these sanctions,” he went on to say.

“It is our right and that of the Lebanese to know the full truth related to these sanctions,” Wehbe said.

SourceNaharnet

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