US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo intervened to obtain from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) the allocation of another tranche of economic assistance in the amount of $ 115 million after a month delay, Bloomberg reported.
According to them, the suspension of US economic assistance to Lebanon was sanctioned by USAID Deputy Director Bonnie Glick following a meeting with senior director of the White House National Security Council for the Middle East Victoria Coates. Pompeo Thursday personally called Glick and ordered her to unfreeze another tranche of aid to Lebanon on economic development.
The agency recalls that a similar situation occurred with a tranche of $ 105 million it in early November, intended for the security needs of Lebanon. Such delays are due to the tough stance of a number of US administration officials who are concerned about the growing role of the Shiite Hezbollah party, recognized in the US as a terrorist organization. According to the Naharnet news portal, the new government of Lebanon will consist of 24 ministers, and the cabinet will include Mohammed Feysh, the state minister, representing Hezbollah.
Bloomberg believes that one of the illustrations of the disengagement within the US administration is the recent delay in the allocation of US military assistance to Ukraine. This topic became relevant due to the scandal surrounding Trump’s July telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, which ultimately became the reason for the impeachment proceedings against the owner of the White House. According to political opponents of the current American leader, Trump tried to convince Zelenskyy to begin an investigation into the activities of the son of former US Vice President Joe Biden in Ukraine in exchange for providing financial and military assistance to Kyiv.