Lebanon Requests Files Justifying Recent US Sanctions On Lebanese Politicians

Lebanon Wants Files That Justify Recent US Sanctions On Lebanese Politicians
Reuters/Mohamad Azakir | Reuters

In a Monday meeting, caretaker Foreign Minister Charbel Wehbe and US Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea discussed the recent US sanctions targeting several Lebanese officials.

During the meeting, which touched on other topics, including the ongoing border demarcation talks and the return of refugees, Wehbe requested files that justify the sanctions against ex-ministers Gebran Bassil, Ali Hasan Khalil, and Youssef Fenianos.

According to a statement by the Foreign Ministry, Wehbe told Shea that “the Lebanese authorities, including the judiciary, hope to obtain any information or documents on which the US administration relied in taking those measures.”

In a previous interview, Wehbe said that Lebanon is “among the friends of the United States” and has “historic relations and broad and various common interests.”

Answering a question about the latest sanctions on Lebanese politicians, Wehbe confirmed that the issue would be discussed in the meeting with Shea, which he said would be an “ordinary meeting.”

“We are very interested in knowing the foundations on which the sanctions on ex-ministers Gebran Bassil, Ali Hasan Khalil, and Youssef Fenianos were based, and our embassy in Washington had submitted a request to obtain [documents] incriminating these officials, at the instructions of the president of the republic,” he said.

“We and the United States respect international laws aiming to combat corruption, and what we are seeking is to obtain the documents that led to these sanctions.”

He added: “It is our right and that of the Lebanese to know the full truth related to those sanctions.”

The three aforementioned ministers were recently designated by the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) for engaging in corruption.

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