BEIRUT – Lebanon's health minister, who was appointed by the country's Hezbollah group, says he has "overcome" U.S. concerns that his ministry's funds could go to the militant group by gaining public trust and ensuring transparency.
Jamil Jabak tells The Associated Press that although he is not a member, he has Hezbollah's trust and is working to ensure he serves all Lebanese. Jabak says he has not encountered pressure from European or foreign diplomats over his ministry's policies.
Hezbollah named Jabak to the post in January. His appointment sparked U.S. warnings against funneling ministry finances to Hezbollah's coffers. Hezbollah is under various U.S. sanctions.
Jabak says internal financial oversight ensures all Lebanese benefit. He also says negotiations for health sector rehabilitation with international donor agencies will include a monitoring arrangement.
Jabak denied reports he was the personal physician of Hezbollah's leader.