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Senior EU official visits Lebanon in show of support

December 19, 2017

European Union Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini, right, speaks during a joint press conference with Lebanese Foreign Minister Gibran Bassil, left, at the Lebanese foreign ministry in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017. A senior European Union official has reaffirmed EU strong support to Lebanon's stability and security during meetings with Lebanese officials. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

BEIRUT (AP) — The European Union’s foreign policy chief has met with Lebanese leaders in the first such official visit to the country since it was plunged into crisis following the resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who has since returned to his post.

Federica Mogherini, who is meeting with Hariri Tuesday, expressed “satisfaction” at his return to Lebanon and said the EU expects full implementation by Lebanese parties of the so-called dissociation policy, aimed at insulating the tiny country from regional conflicts.

Hariri announced his surprise resignation last month in a bizarre televised address from Saudi Arabia. He has since revoked his resignation following a consensus deal reached with rival Lebanese political parties, including the Iran-backed militant group Hezbollah, to avoid regional entanglements.

Mogherini also met with Lebanese President Michel Aoun.

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