Nabih Berri told the top US diplomat in a meeting in Beirut on Friday that Hezbollah is a Lebanese political party whose members are in the government and parliament, and that it is carrying out “resistance” against Israel to free Lebanese territory from Israeli occupation.
Later in the day, Pompeo also met with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri and was scheduled to meet with President Michel Aoun and hold talks with Lebanon’s foreign minister.
The US secretary of state on Thursday declared he would be "very clear" in his meetings in the Lebanese capital that "Lebanon's success depends on the Lebanese people (demanding) that a terrorist organization not be in control of their government and not drive policies.”
“Hezbollah is a terrorist organization. You ask how tough I am going to be? It is a terrorist organization. Period. Full stop,” Pompeo said in the Israeli-occupied Jerusalem al-Quds on Thursday, before leaving for ebanon.
“We’ll spend a lot of time talking with the Lebanese government about how we can help them disconnect from the threat that Iran and Hezbollah present to them,” Pompeo told reporters earlier this week.
Washington claims that the Lebanese resistance movement condones terrorism despite the fact that Hezbollah has been involved in a fierce fight against Takfiri terror groups, including Daesh and al-Nusra Front, thus preventing the spillover of the militancy gripping neighboring Syria into Lebanon.
Hezbollah has also supported the Syrian army in its fight against foreign-sponsored terrorists, who have been wreaking havoc in the Arab country since March 2011.
However, Washington has for long accused Hezbollah of being behind the 1983 bombing attack, in which 241 US Marines were killed.
In October, the administration of President Donald Trump imposed a new round of sanctions on the movement, targeting individuals and international organizations that do business with the group.
The sanctions legislation Trump signed is known as the Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Amendments Act 2018.
Hezbollah was founded in the 1980s following the Israeli invasion and occupation of southern Lebanon. The movement waged a long resistance campaign against Israeli forces and pushed them out of southern Lebanon in May 2000. Since then, the group has grown into a powerful military force.
Israel also suffered a humiliating defeat from Hezbollah in the 2006 war.
Since its inception in 1985, the Lebanese resistance movement has been a thorn in the side of Israel and its foreign backers, including the United States.