Rice Bolsters Lebanon's New Gov't.

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CBNNews.com - BEIRUT, Lebanon - In a surprise visit to Lebanon Monday, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice lavished praise on newly elected Lebanese President Michel Suleiman.

Despite the fact that Iranian-funded Hezbollah -- labeled a terror organization by the US -- has being given legislative power to veto government policy, Rice expressed her full backing for Suleiman and his new government.

The secretary of state also met with Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora, where she raised the issue of Shaba Farms, a strategic disputed piece of territory between Israel, Syria and Lebanon, now under Israeli control.

"I also told him [Saniora] that the United States believes the time has come to deal with the Shaba Farms issue," Rice told reporters after the meeting.

Israel captured Mount Dov, which Hezbollah calls Shaba Farms, from Syria during the 1967 Six Day War. While the borders of Syria, Lebanon and Israel meet there, Mt. Dov has never been part of Lebanon.

Over the years, the Israel Defense Forces has vastly improved the infrastructure in the area from where it monitors Hezbollah's activities in southern Lebanon.

Source: The Associated Press

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