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News :: Globalization
Condoleezza Rice Makes Surprise Visit to Lebanon
22 Jul 2005
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made a surprise visit to volatile Lebanon under heavy guard Friday to encourage a new democratic government outside Syrian control.
aoun_rice_2.jpg
She was driven straight from the airport to the Koreitem mansion where she extended condolences and held talks with Saad Hariri, leader of the majority in Lebanon's newly-elected parliament.

She was then driven in an armor-plated convoy to ex-Premier Rafik Hariri's grave in downtown Beirut's Martyrs Square, where she paid her respects to the fallen Lebanese leader. Hariri's son Saad accompanied her to the graveside visit.

She then held talks with President Lahoud at the Baabda Palace in what was seen as a confirmation that the Bush administration had accepted the extension of Lahoud's term by 3 years although it was brought about by Syrian pressure.

Rice then drove down to the Grand Serail where she held talks with Prime Minister Fouad Seniora and later headed to Ain el Tineh for talks with Speaker Nabih Berri.

Rice wound up her day-long conferences in Beirut by a meeting with Gen. Aoun at the fortress-like embassy in suburban Aukar and then flew to the Palestinian territories, Lebanon's state-run National News Agency reported.

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