Beirut – George Shahin
US Treasury under-secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence , David Cohen, is expected to visit Lebanon on Tuesday to hold talks with a number of high-ranking officials, including Bank of Lebanon Governor
Riyad Salameh, reported Lebanese daily An Nahar on Friday.
The purpose of the visit has not been disclosed but it has been understood that the US official will tackle the financial sanctions against Syria and Iran, and Lebanon’s commitment to them, added the daily.
It also said that Cohen’s visit is a follow-up to the one carried out in November by his assistant, Daniel Glaser, in light of the Lebanese Canadian Bank crisis, it added.
Glaser had met with Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Miqati, Salameh, and a number of representatives from the Lebanese banking community.
He emphasised the need for Lebanon to take the necessary steps to ensure a transparent and well-regulated financial sector for Lebanon’s continued prosperity.
He stressed the need for authorities to protect the Lebanese financial sector from potential Syrian attempts to evade US and EU financial sanctions.
The US official reiterated his country’s view that it is important to ensure that the current instability in Syria does not undermine the Lebanese financial sector.
The United States, which lists Hezbollah as a “terrorist” group, filed a lawsuit in 2011 against the Lebanese Canadian Bank, accusing it of laundering hundreds of millions of dollars in drug proceeds from an alleged cocaine trafficker with ties to the Lebanese party.