Lebanon has ‘courage’ to disagree with U.S., says Bassil

by on 21 September 2019

Lebanon’s Foreign Minister, Gebran Bassil, has said that despite US sanctions his country enjoys “good relations” with the United States.

“We have strong ties with the US. The US is supporting our armed forces. They are also supporting our country,” he told BBC Hardtalk’s Stephen Sackur.

In June the US imposed sanctions on three senior Hezbollah officials in Lebanon accusing them of supporting the Iranian government.

The US Treasury has also sanctioned a Lebanese bank accusing it of being a financial conduit for Hezbollah. The bank has denied the allegations.

A number of countries around the world have designated Hezbollah as a terrorist group, but Mr Bassil said the group has 14 MPs in their parliament, representing a big part of the Lebanese population and so cannot be viewed as terrorists.