A senior US official has called on the Lebanese government to act “within Arab and international consensus” regarding the situation in Syria, Press TV reports.
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.
Hundreds of people, including members of the Syrian security forces, have been killed in the turmoil that began in the country in mid-March.
The Syrian government blames “outlaws, saboteurs and armed terrorist groups” for the unrest, saying that it is being orchestrated from abroad.
Confessions by a number of Syrian rebels about foreign-sponsored plans to carry out armed operations and killing ordinary people as well as security forces prove that recent developments in the country are part of an attempt to incite a revolt in the strategic country neighboring the Israeli regime, aiming to overthrow the current government and replace it with a US-backed regime.
However, the resolution adopted by the Arab League against Syria has enhanced the unity of Syrian people. Figures show that during the past weeks, nearly 12 million people have demonstrated in support of President Bashar al-Assad.
The Arab League action against Syria has raised major controversy in the Arab world, as the organization is mostly made up of notoriously authoritarian regimes that are heavily under the influence of the US and major Western European governments, despite their widely publicized claims of supporting democracy and human rights.