World

Obama's Mideast peace envoy says US supports Lebanese army

September 17: Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, meets with U.S. peace envoy George Mitchell, at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, east of Beirut, Lebanon. (AP)

September 17: Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, meets with U.S. peace envoy George Mitchell, at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, east of Beirut, Lebanon. (AP)

BEIRUT (AP) — The Obama administration's envoy for Middle East peace says the U.S. supports Lebanon's armed forces.

George Mitchell spoke Friday after meeting Lebanese President Michel Suleiman in Beirut.

In August, several U.S. lawmakers froze $100 million in military aid to Lebanon after expressing concerns the weapons could be turned on Israel and that Hezbollah may have influence over the Lebanese army.

But the Obama administration has made clear it wants the military aid to continue in the interest of America's national security and Mideast stability.

Mitchell said Friday he assured senior leaders in Lebanon that the U.S. has a "strong desire to maintain a close relationship with the Lebanese Armed Forces."