U.S. Drops Embassy Construction Proposal for Hezbollah-Controlled Area of Beirut

The State Department recently scratched plans to erect a U.S. Embassy in a Hezbollah-controlled area of Lebanon that triggered protests from a U.S. ambassador, reported ABC News.

U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Jeffrey Feltman reportedly sent a message to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice objecting to the proposed location, saying his staff "unanimously opposes construction" of the embassy in a May 31, 2007 cable message, according to the report.

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The proposed embassy site is located in the Baabda area of Beirut which is controlled by the anti-U.S. radical group rather than the Lebanese government, said the report. Even though the area is near the scene of intense combat in the Hezbollah- Israeli conflict, officials told ABC News that the State Department official in charge of building the embassy insisted it be built on land purchased there two years ago for more than $22 million.

Retired Maj. Gen. Charles Williams said the plan was consistent with the State Department's "relations with Congress and our global building objectives," according to the report.

Hezbollah is believed to be behind two attacks on the U.S. Embassy and an embassy annex in 1983 and 1984 that led to the deaths of 87 people, including eight CIA employees.