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Obama: Syria violating Resolution 1701
US president meets with Hariri, says transfer of weapons to Hezbollah is 'threat' to region

WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama met with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Monday and told him Syria's alleged transfer of Scud missiles to Hezbollah was a violation of UN Resolution 1701, which ended the Second Lebanon War.

 

A statement released by the White House following the meeting said Obama had stressed the importance of Iran honoring its commitment to refrain from distributing nuclear weapons, as well as the threat posed by the transfer of weapons to Hezbollah.

 

Hariri, on his part told Obama that the "clock is ticking" on Mideast peace and that failure to reach an agreement will lead to more violence and extremism in the region.

 

On his first official White House visit as premier, Hariri said he told Obama during an Oval Office meeting that Lebanon is hopeful about his efforts to secure a lasting peace between the Palestinians and Israelis.

 

But the prime minister said he told Obama about a "pervasive frustration and skepticism" in the Muslim world regarding the issue and that the "clock is ticking ... against all those who believe in a just peace."

 

"Failure will nurture more extremism and give birth to new forms of violence," Hariri said afterward. "This poses great dangers to everyone in the Middle East and to the world at large. But the rewards of success are even greater."

 

Hariri said he also thanked Obama for the US commitment and support for Lebanon's sovereignty and independence, and for assistance for its armed forces and other security agencies.

 

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