The United States and Saudi Arabia stressed during their landmark bilateral summit in Riyadh over the weekend “the importance of backing the Lebanese state to extend its sovereignty across its entire territory,” a joint statement said.
The statement carried by the Saudi official news agency SPA said the two sides also underscored the need to “disarm terrorist groups such as Hizbullah and put all arms under the legitimate supervision of the Lebanese army.”
U.S. President Donald Trump had compared Hizbullah in a landmark speech on Sunday to extremist organizations such as Islamic State and al-Qaida, as he lauded the Lebanese army for fighting IS and Lebanon for hosting a huge number of Syrian refugees.
“The true toll of ISIS, al-Qaida, Hizbullah, Hamas, and so many others, must be counted not only in the number of dead. It must also be counted in generations of vanished dreams,” Trump said.
Applauding the Gulf Cooperation Council for “blocking funders from using their countries as a financial base for terror, and designating Hizbullah as a terrorist organization last year,” the U.S. leader also praised Saudi Arabia for joining Washington this week in “placing sanctions on one of the most senior leaders of Hizbullah,” Sayyed Hashem Safieddine, who is the head of the party's powerful executive council.
“Of course, there is still much work to do,” Trump added.