In Beirut, Clinton Reassures About US Overtures to Syria
Election could see pro-US gov't ousted from Lebanon
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 26, 2009 9:32 AM CDT
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shakes hands with Lebanese President Michel Suleiman at the Lebanese Presidential Palace in Baabda east of Beirut, Lebanon, Sunday, April 26, 2009.   (HUSSEIN MALLA)
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(Newser) – Hillary Clinton reassured the Lebanese people today that Washington supports "voices of moderation" and will never make a deal with Syria that undermines the country's interests. Clinton spoke on a surprise visit to Beirut ahead of a critical June 7 election that could see the pro-US Lebanese government ousted by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah and its allies.

"The people of Lebanon must be able to choose their own representatives in open and fair elections without the specter of violence or intimidation and free of outside interference," Clinton told a news conference in Beirut after meeting with President Michel Suleiman. "Our ongoing support for the Lebanese armed forces remains a pillar of our bilateral cooperation," she added.