This year has been heavy with US sanctions on Lebanese politicians. While the recent Lebanese announcement of a deal for border talks with Israel garnered praise from the US, it does not eliminate more sanctions from the equation.
Lebanese political figures indulged in corruption will be targeted by a new round of US sanctions, as will individuals allied with Hezbollah, despite the US-mediated talks that will be held between Lebanon and Israel.
This was affirmed by Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker on Thursday after Lebanon’s Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri announced a framework agreement for border talks with Israel.
“We will continue to designate individuals in Lebanon who are the allies of Hezbollah. We will continue to designate people for corruption under Global Magnitsky Act,” he told reporters.
On that note, the US official said that, in mediating the upcoming agreement, the US will not “talk to Hezbollah,” even warning that Hezbollah may be seeking to sabotage Lebanese-Israeli border negotiations.
Reiterating what Speaker Berri said in his Thursday press conference, Schenker said that the maritime border demarcation with Israel might help Lebanon economically.
He noted that by demarcating borders through indirect negotiations, Lebanon will not be normalizing its relations with Israel like the UAE and Bahrain recently did.
Nonetheless, “both sides seem eager to be able to get a deal,” Schenker added.
Meanwhile, a US senator submitted a request to have the US administration exempt Lebanon from the repercussions of the Caesar Act, which can have devastating effects on the crisis-hit country.
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