Lebanese President meets McCain in Beirut
The former U.S. presidential candidate, Republican senator John McCain began on Friday a visit to Lebanon for talks with top Lebanese officials on the current regional issues, Xinhua reported.
McCain, who is accompanied by a delegation from the U.S. congress consisting of Senators John Barrasso and John Thune, met with Lebanese President Michel Suleiman at the Presidential Palace, local news site Naharnet reported.
Suleiman told McCain that the situation is stable on the Lebanese side of the borders with Israel, as Lebanon commits to the implementation of Resolution 1701.
The Lebanese president called the international community, topped by the United States, to pressure the Israeli side regarding the implementation of Resolution 1701 and the halting of all kinds of violations against Lebanese sovereignty.
Suleiman urged McCain to reconsider the bill adopted by the U.S. congress on sanctioning Arab satellite channels that are deemed as "inciting hatred" against the United States, among them the Lebanese TV network Al Manar.
Earlier, the local Central News Agency said that McCain will meet Speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Saad Hariri and a number of political leaders "in order to hear their stances regarding the means of reaching a just and comprehensive peace in the region."
McCain will also discuss Lebanon's call for the international community "to pressure Israel in order to oblige it of implementing international resolutions and withdrawing from occupied territories", added the Central News Agency.
He will also discuss the stances of the various Lebanese leaders on the issue of Hezbollah's resistance in the face of Israel.
McCain's visit to Beirut came before the arrival of U.S. special envoy for Middle East peace George Mitchell to the region for talks with the leaders of Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the Palestinian authority on their stances regarding the peace process.
The Central News Agency's report revealed that a top U.S. security official will visit Lebanon next week to discuss Lebanon' s military needs before the expected visit of Defense Minister Elias Murr to Washington by the end of January.