Blinken, Acting Lebanese Prime Minister Discuss Rising Tensions on Border With Israel
© Sputnik . Pavel BednyakovUS Secretary of State Antony Blinken
© Sputnik . Pavel Bednyakov/
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Amid the escalation in Gaza, the US government has taken Israel's side, with President Biden saying the US stands with Israel "today, tomorrow and always." Since October 7, Joe Biden and Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin have visited the country, and Secretary of State Blinken has travelled to Israel twice.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held negotiations with acting Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati and discussed rising border tensions between Israel and Lebanon, the State Department said on Saturday.
"Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke with Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati yesterday to affirm US support for the Lebanese people and noted growing concern over rising tensions along Lebanon’s southern border. The Secretary reiterated the importance of respecting the interests of the Lebanese people, who would be affected by Lebanon being drawn into the conflict instigated by Hamas’ terrorist attack on Israel," the department said in a statement.
Blinken also said that Washington continues to consider the Lebanese armed forces and internal security forces to be the "sole legitimate guarantors" of the country's stability and territorial integrity, the statement added.
On October 7, Hamas launched a surprise large-scale rocket attack against Israel from the Gaza Strip and breached the border, killing and seizing people in neighboring Israeli communities. Israel launched retaliatory strikes and ordered a complete blockade of the Gaza Strip, home to more than 2 million people, cutting off supplies of water, food and fuel. The escalation of the conflict has resulted in thousands of people killed and injured on both sides.
Amid the escalation in the Gaza Strip, there are periodic exchanges of fire between Lebanese Shia movement Hezbollah and Israeli troops on the Lebanese-Israeli border.