Lebanon: US ambassador meets FM Hatti over Hezbollah comments in Beirut

The Lebanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Nassif Hatti met with US Ambassador Dorothy Shea in Beirut on Monday, to talk about a wide range of topics from the economic crisis to her past comments on Hezbollah. «The United States stands ready and will continue to help the Lebanese people as the government takes the necessary steps to address the underlying causes (of the economic crisis)», ambassador Shea explained to the press following the meeting. Recently, a Lebanese judge issued a ruling banning local media from publishing or airing Shea's public statements for a one-year period, following a citizen's complaint over comments Shea previously made about Hezbollah and their leader Hassan Nasrallah. The US diplomat also addressed a controversial ruling against her saying «we turned the page on this unfortunate distraction». In an interview for a Saudi TV network, Shea was quoted as saying that Hezbollah was destabilising the country and jeopardizing Lebanon's economic recovery. The meeting at the embassy was met by protests, where demonstrators could be seen standing on a picture of the US ambassador on the ground with one protester saying that «US policies have brought us to this situation.»

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