Saturday, February 17, 2007

Secretary Rice on the Anniversary of Hariri's assassination and the bus bombings in Metn

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Washington, DC
February 14, 2007

Today we observe the second anniversary of the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri who, along with 21 others, was brutally murdered on February 14, 2005, for standing up for Lebanon's freedom and democracy. Such acts of terrorism can only be seen as an attempt to silence and intimidate those who are determined to realize the vision of a sovereign and peaceful Lebanon.

The United States remains committed to the prompt establishment of a Special Tribunal to bring to justice those responsible for the assassination of former Prime Minister Hariri and other patriots who gave their lives for a free and democratic Lebanon. The Lebanese people deserve to know the truth about all these crimes, and to live in an independent and secure country in which the people are free to make decisions without fear of violence and intimidation.

We extend our sympathy to the victims and their families of yesterday's bus bombings outside Beirut. We encourage all parties to honor the memories of former Prime Minister Hariri and all others who have been targeted by such acts of terrorism in Lebanon, by resuming dialogue and pursuing peaceful means to resolve their differences. The United States is steadfast in its support of the people of Lebanon and their democratically elected government.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Lebanon in President Bush's 2008 Budget for the Department of State

President Bush's fiscal year 2008 international affairs budget for the Department of State, totals $36.2 billion. The President's budget includes $4.8 billion to meet urgent new foreign assistance needs in Afghanistan, Iraq and Lebanon.

United States Turns Over 60 New Vehicles to the Internal Security Forces Part of $54.5 Million Security Assistance to Lebanon in 2006

US Embassy Beirut Lebanon

press releases

United States Turns Over 60 New Vehicles to the Internal Security Forces Part of $54.5 Million Security Assistance to Lebanon in 2006

February 7, 2007



The United States turned over 60 new Ford Explorer Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) equipped with sirens and lights to the Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF) on February 7, 2007. U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission Christopher W. Murray presented the vehicles to General Ashraf Rifi at a handover ceremony at the Dbayeh Barracks. The SUVs are in addition to 2000 sets of civil disturbance equipment that were delivered to the ISF earlier this year. Together this assistance will help the ISF to expand policing operations in Beirut and throughout the country, while also serving to protect the Lebanese people and their democratically elected government from security threats posed by civil disturbances.

In remarks at the handover ceremony, Mr. Murray thanked the ISF for allowing the U.S. Embassy to use the Dbayeh Compound to process American citizens departing Lebanon during last summer's hostilities. He affirmed that "The United States is steadfastly committed to helping the democratically elected Government of Lebanon to protect the Lebanese people and their territory."

Mr. Murray explained that the assistance "will help in establishing the full sovereignty of a Lebanese Government which represents its entire people, and a Lebanese Army and Internal Security Force capable of protecting Lebanon's territory, sovereignty and dignity."

The United States made additional commitments to the Lebanese security sector at the Paris III conference last month, to include: $220 million for assisting the Lebanese with military equipment and training; $184 million to support the on-going international peacekeeping mission; and $60 million to train and equip security forces.

The United States is providing funding for specialized training and equipment for the ISF to include:

·  Crowd control equipment

·  Crisis response equipment (400 sets)

·  Police uniforms/foul weather gear

·  Refurbishment of Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs)

The SUVs were purchased with U.S. security assistance funds; the civil disturbance equipment was purchased with U.S. Department of Defense stabilization and reconstruction funds made available. Both of these efforts are part of an ongoing program to assist the ISF in its efforts to ensure the safety and security of the Lebanese people, which is helping to support the democratically-elected Government of Lebanon.