Hochstein’s visit, which was a surprise, included meetings with key figures such as Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati, and outgoing Army Commander Joseph Aoun.
During his discussions, Hochstein emphasized the White House’s commitment to Lebanon’s neutrality, both in response to the ongoing situation in Gaza and in anticipation of the Arab League’s extraordinary summit in Saudi Arabia.
He expressed a keen interest in Lebanon’s stance at the summit and urged against any alignment that might be perceived as supportive of Hamas.
Sources close to the developments indicate that the US’s stance on the Gaza-Israel conflict has softened recently.
This shift comes amid Hochstein’s efforts to understand and mitigate factors that could escalate tensions in Lebanon. His visit coincided with Israeli airstrikes in southern Lebanon, highlighting the urgency and complexity of the situation.