Ms. Ros-Lehtinen, who has opposed much of the foreign policy of
President Barack Obama, was said to have expressed a consensus among the
Republicans as well as many leading Democrats in Congress. At a meeting with
United Nations envoy Terje Roed-Larsen, the Florida Republican warned that
the United States could not support a Lebanese government that was becoming
indistinguishable from Iran and its proxies, particularly Hizbullah, Middle East Newsline reported.
"The line between the Lebanese armed forces and Hizbullah is gradually
being erased," Ms. Ros-Lehtinen said on Nov. 30.
In August, Congress placed a hold on $100 million in U.S. military
and security aid to Lebanon. Officials said the prospect that a
Republican-dominated House would do the same in 2011 was high.
Ms. Ros-Lehtinen told Roed-Larsen that U.S. and UN efforts to bolster
Lebanon's sovereignty have been faltering. She cited Hizbullah's effort to
delay the release of indictments by a UN tribunal that investigated the
assassination of Hariri's father, also a prime minister, in 2005.
"Above all, we must protect the security of the U.S. and our allies,
uphold Lebanon's sovereignty, and ensure that those responsible for Prime
Minister [Rafik] Hariri's murder are held responsible," Ms. Ros-Lehtinen
For his part, Roed-Larsen has been warning of a Hizbullah military
buildup in southern Lebanon in violation of a UN Security Council resolution
in 2006. Resolution 1559 also called for the disbanding of Hizbullah and
other militias in Lebanon.
"We need to have a clear vision of what the end-state is and how we can
achieve it," Ms. Ros-Lehtinen said.