Friday, February 29, 2008
"29/02/2008 The head of the unconstitutional government Fouad Saniora said that no US warships are present in Lebanese territorial waters, but declined to comment on former US Ambassador to Lebanon Jeffrey Feltman's words that the US administration had ordered the dispatch of the USS Cole destroyer to position off Lebanon's coast. "Only Lebanese armed forces and UNFIL forces are present in Lebanese territorial waters," said Saniora as he received Arab Ambassadors and representatives in Lebanon.
However Saniora's words intersected with Washington's justification to dispatch the destroyer. "We gather here today and Lebanon, as you all know, is passing through an unprecedented crisis that threatens its fate, system and entity," Saniora said.
"The United States believes a show of support is important for regional stability. We are very concerned about the situation in Lebanon. It has dragged on very long," said a top US official, who spoke Thursday on condition of anonymity signaling 'impatience' with Syria. Moreover, US Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters in Washington Thursday that "this is an area that is important to us, the eastern Mediterranean." "The presence is important, it isn't meant to send any stronger signals than that, but in fact it does signal that we are engaged," Muller added."