Saudi media reports meeting centered on Syria, maritime border dispute and missile factories; Report claims Israeli official told FM that Israel’s conflict with Hezbollah, not Lebanon; Hariri announces austerity measures to handle the country’s deficit.
Saudi media reported a senior Israeli official met with Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil in Moscow. The Saudi Arabian newspaper Elaph claimed two Lebanese sources confirmed their talks centered on Syria, missile factories in Lebanon and the maritime border dispute between Lebanon and Israel. The report states that the Israeli official told the Lebanese minister that Israel’s conflict is not with Lebanon, but with Hezbollah, which continues to threaten the State of Israel.
Reports of a secret Iranian precision missile factory in Lebanon were released earlier this month. The United States sent an official warning directly through US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to both Lebanon and Hezbollah, as well as Iran, against further aggression and threats to Israel’s security. Pompeo is said to have directly warned Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri during their talks in Beirut. He reportedly told Lebanese leadership that further secret and covert operations carried out by Iran with Hezbollah could “raise the risk of a real escalation with Israel”.
Hezbollah and Lebanon are in their worst economic crisis to date due to regional conflict, international pressure and US sanctions on terror organizations and Iran. Hariri announced on Thursday that Lebanon would impose austerity measures to handle the country’s fiscal deficit. He announced, “As a government, we are required to issue the most austere budget in Lebanon’s history because our financial position doesn’t allow us to increase spending. If we continue like this we will reach a disaster.”
In May, Hezbollah head Hassan Nasrallah called on supporters to donate to the terrorist organization amidst the US-Israeli waged “economic war”. Nasrallah called on supporters of the terror organization to fund its 30-year main benefactor, the Islamic Resistance Support Association. He claimed at the time “Hezbollah is in an economic war. They are placing us on the terror list and taking punitive measures against us,” in reference to the UK following of the United States in officially outlawing Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.
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