In a statement, the US embassy spokesman in Beirut Casey Bonfield said that Schenker referred to the sword hanging in President Aoun’s office, which was written on it: Transparency is the sword that eliminates corruption. Commenting on the phrase, Schenker urged President Aoun to use the sword of transparency (a metaphorical use) to change the governance approach.
The Baabda Palace statement indicated that Schenker “praised the positive role that President Aoun plays in leading the fight against corruption and changing the approach that prevailed in the past, considering that reforms in Lebanon are essential, especially since there is no difference between politics and economics.”
Lebanese political circles saw in the words of the US embassy spokesman a clear denial of the statement issued by the Republican Palace, denying the existence of any intention by Schenker to polish the image of Michel Aoun and to show it in the guise of those working to combat corruption.
Schenker arrived in Beirut last Wednesday to participate in the opening of the Lebanese-Israeli negotiations on the demarcation of the maritime borders. It was expected that the American official would leave Beirut for Rabat immediately after the opening session of negotiations between Lebanon and Israel, but he decided to stay in Lebanon for other days to hold talks with politicians and activists in the political field, who listened to their views and views.
Shenker had several meetings with Lebanese officials, including President Michel Aoun and Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri. He also met with Lebanese politicians, including Saad Hariri, Walid Jumblatt, Samir Geagea, Suleiman Franjieh, and the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rai.
Lebanese political sources said that Schenker stressed to the Lebanese officials that it is in the interest of their country to pursue negotiations on the demarcation of the maritime border with Israel.
In this regard, she indicated that Lebanon has an interest in this, given that an agreement with Israel to demarcate the borders could help it in the future to obtain financial income from the gas wells in the sea between the two countries, and to address its economic crisis.
These sources revealed that Schenker assured the Lebanese officials he met that Lebanon is still important to the United States and that it will work for the success of negotiations between him and Israel.
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