by David Phinney
Wednesday October 21st 2020

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Embassy Contractor’s Ties to Lebanese Politics Questioned

Daily Star staff
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
BEIRUT: US congressmen are waging a campaign against Lebanese businessman Wadih Abssi to thwart his project to build US embassies in Riyadh and Baghdad “because he is one of the main financers of the head of the Reform and Change parliamentary bloc, MP Michel Aoun,” a Kuwaiti newspaper said Monday.
Ar-Rai daily said “after Abssi was close to winning a $100 million deal to establish a US Embassy in the Saudi capital, a debate over the issue emerged in the US Treasury and State departments, as well as some decision-making centers at the Pentagon, Congress and the intelligence community.”
“The US administration has also opened a thorough investigation into negotations over Abssi and other partners setting up a US Embassy in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad,” the report said.
“The $600 million project has witnessed many violations,” it added.
According to the report, Republican Tom Lantos, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, addressed a letter to Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte last week, complaining about what he described as “the negligence” of contracting companies charged with building the US Embassy in Baghdad.
“Such negligence undermines the security and living conditions of some 1,000 employees of the State Department and other employees at the embassy who will live in Baghdad,” Lantos said. – The Daily Star

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