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Clinton expresses concern over Iran president's visit to Lebanon

From Laurie Ure, CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Subject of visit came up as secretary of state, Lebanese president met at U.N.
  • State Dept. spokesman: Iran "is actively undermining Lebanon's sovereignty"
  • Iranian president is expected to visit Lebanon this month

Washington (CNN) -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed concern to the Lebanese president about an upcoming visit of Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Lebanon, according to the State Department spokesman.

The discussion of the visit came up during a meeting during between the secretary of state and Lebanese President Michel Suleiman while the two were at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

"We expressed our concern about it given that Iran, through its association with groups like Hezbollah, is actively undermining Lebanon's sovereignty," State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said.

Iran's Press TV says Ahmadinejad is expected to visit Lebanon in October, when he is scheduled to meet with Lebanon's president, prime minister, and parliament speaker, as well as leaders of Hezbollah's resistance movement. The trip would be his first to that country since taking office in 2005.

Crowley said of the decision that it's not a matter for the United States to decide, and "we respect that these are judgments for the Lebanese government to make."