Senator Rubio (Past US presidential candidate) makes trip to Lebanon
Written by Malek   

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie listens to Florida Senator Marco Rubio during the Republican presidential primary debate on August 6, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio.

by Alex Leary, Times Washington Bureau Chief, Instead of attending a fundraising weekend skiing in Montana, Sen. Marco Rubio, 2016 US presidential candidate is in the Middle East this week for an "oversight" visit. "This weekend, I am in the Middle East on an official visit conducting oversight of U.S. programs abroad as a member of the Senate's Select Committee on Intelligence," he wrote this morning on Facebook. "I just concluded my visit to Beirut, Lebanon, where I met with Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri and government officials to discuss regional security.

"I stressed to our Lebanese partners the importance of cracking down on the terrorist group Hezbollah. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and I were sponsors of the Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act, which was signed into law in 2015. This law blocks the terrorist organization’s financing and limits its access to logistical support. Prime Minister Al-Hariri and I discussed ways to address Hezbollah's threat to regional stability, and the necessity of helping to build the capability of the Lebanese Armed Forces to confront terrorist threats. "As always, I continue to be impressed by the work of Americans who serve abroad in our Beirut embassy and throughout the world as members of the Foreign Service. It is critical that we support their work in advancing our interests, as well as the goals of our international assistance programs. I was also honored to visit the Beirut Memorial, a tribute to the 241 U.S. service personnel, including 220 Marines, who lost their lives in the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing. While I was there, I remembered those who were killed during this terrorist attack orchestrated by Hezbollah and prayed for their families. They continue to be in our thoughts and prayers." Rubio had been scheduled to attend a weekend in Montana with Sen. Steve Daines.