Saturday, January 30, 2010

Remarks by U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, at an Open Security Council Debate on the Middle East

Alejandro Wolff
Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, NY
January 27, 2010


Thank you, Mr. President. Advancing the cause of comprehensive peace in the Middle East remains one of the United States’ most important foreign policy endeavors. Our commitment to this goal is unwavering. And only through negotiations can this objective be realized—an approach we strongly encourage the international community to support.

The immediate resumption of negotiations toward a two-state solution is the only realistic way forward. It is in the interests not only of the United States but of Israelis, Palestinians, and all of the region’s people.

We call on all members of this Council to underscore this message publicly and with the parties. Waiting to resume talks benefits no one. The status quo does nothing to meet the legitimate needs of Israelis or Palestinians.

As Secretary of State Clinton has said, we believe that, through good-faith negotiations, the parties can mutually agree on an outcome that ends the conflict and reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state based on the 1967 lines, with agreed swaps, and the Israeli goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders that reflect subsequent developments. Despite the difficulties and the complex political circumstances in the region, we are committed to relaunching negotiations and to the cause of comprehensive peace in the Middle East.

National Security Advisor Jones and Special Envoy for Middle East Peace Mitchell both conducted talks in the region this month. Senator Mitchell also traveled to Europe to consult with the Quartet and other key partners, and high-level Egyptian and Jordanian delegations made helpful visits to Washington. With the Israelis and the Palestinians, we have consistently pursued a two-pronged approach: first, to encourage the parties to enter negotiations to reach agreement on all permanent status issues; and second, to help the Palestinians build the economy and the institutions that will be necessary when a Palestinian state is established. The two objectives are mutually reinforcing. Each is essential, and neither can be attained without the other. Special Envoy Mitchell will be following up with the parties in the coming days, and he will return to the region in the near future.

Mr. President, the Quartet has long called on all parties to uphold their Roadmap obligations. A freeze on settlement activity is an Israeli obligation under the Roadmap, and U.S. policy on this remains unchanged. We do not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. That said, we also believe that the settlement moratorium recently declared by the Israeli government is a significant step that could have a meaningful effect on the ground.

U.S. policy on Jerusalem also remains unchanged. The status of Jerusalem and all other permanent status issues should be resolved through negotiations. We disagree with some Israeli actions in Jerusalem affecting Palestinians in areas such as housing, including the continuing pattern of evictions and demolitions of Palestinian homes. Neither party should take actions that could unilaterally preempt, or appear to preempt, negotiations.

The United States recognizes that Jerusalem is a deeply important issue for Israelis and Palestinians and for Jews, Muslims, and Christians around the world. We believe that through good-faith negotiations, the parties can agree to an outcome that realizes the aspirations of both parties for Jerusalem and safeguards its status for people around the world.

We call on the Palestinian Authority to fulfill its Roadmap obligations to ensure security, reform its institutions of governance, and refrain from any acts of incitement. In this regard, we express our strong concern that a Palestinian Authority official recently attended a ceremony commemorating a terrorist who was responsible for an attack that claimed the lives of many Israeli civilians.

We are pleased to see the letter from the Secretary-General reporting that his staff continues to work constructively with the Government of Israel on issues related to the Gaza Board of Inquiry, and to note that the financial issues have been resolved in a manner satisfactory to the Secretary-General.

At the same time, we call on Israel to reopen its border crossings with Gaza, with appropriate monitoring to address security concerns. This would allow for greater movement of people and humanitarian and reconstruction materials, consistent with Resolution 1860 and the 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access, thus alleviating the hardship and stress that civilians in Gaza face.

Hamas has yet to accept the principles established by the Quartet that are the building blocks of an independent Palestinian state: renouncing violence, recognizing Israel, and accepting previous agreements and obligations, including the Roadmap. Nor has it shown a greater interest in building a future for the Palestinian people than through its own hateful rhetoric and violence. We are also concerned about Hamas interference with international efforts to deliver humanitarian assistance in Gaza, continued arms smuggling, and the launching of terrorist rocket attacks against Israel, which, it is important to recall, precipitated the Gaza conflict just over a year ago. And we call for the immediate release of Gilad Shalit, abducted and held by Hamas since 2006.

A key component of international support for the Palestinian people comes through the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees. We thank Commissioner-General Karen AbuZayd for her devoted service to UNRWA over the past nine years, and we welcome the appointment of Filippo Grandi of Italy to this post. We also welcome the appointment of Margot Ellis of the United States as UNRWA’s Deputy Commissioner-General.

The United States is UNRWA’s largest single donor. In 2009, we provided more than $267 million, including more than $116 million to the General Fund. Unfortunately, the Fund still faces severe and chronic shortfalls—estimated at $140 million for this year.

We appreciate the efforts of donors that have provided sizeable emergency support, but there is no substitute for predictable, annual contributions to the General Fund. As such, we welcome the renewed commitment of the Arab League, whose members have pledged collectively to provide UNRWA with no less than 7.8 percent of its General Fund. It is imperative that these pledges be delivered.

Let me conclude by turning briefly to the situation in Lebanon. We thank General Graziano for his service with UNIFIL, and we welcome General Asarta, who begins his new assignment tomorrow. We also recall the important contribution that all troop-contributing countries are making to this vital effort. We call upon all parties to fulfill the provisions of this Council’s Resolutions 1559, 1680, and 1701.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Asharq Al-Awsat Talks to US Ambassador to Lebanon, Michelle Sison

28/01/2010 Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat- US Ambassador to Lebanon, Michelle Sison, is a career member of the United States Senior Foreign Service. She has a BA in Political Science from Wellesley College and also studied at the London School of Economics. She previously served as US Ambassador to the UAE, before becoming Ambassador to Lebanon in June 2008. In this interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Ambassador Sison discusses a number of issues including the current political situation in Lebanon, US economic and military aid, Hezbollah, and the ongoing political tensions with Israel.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] Lebanon is currently witnessing an extremely positive situation with regards to the relationship between its political leaders. To what extent was the US involved in helping reach this state?
[Ambassador Sison] President [Michel] Suleiman has described the new government as being "produced by Lebanon" and this unique regime in Lebanon which has reached the seat of power is a national consensus government. We look forward to cooperating with the new Prime Minister and government, and seek to support this government in implementing policies and procedures that contribute to economic progress and creating new job opportunities for the Lebanese people across a range of programs.
There is a lot of legislation that is being studied by the Lebanese parliament, as well as those being studied by the government, and we see a real opportunity for the government to launch many initiatives in this area.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] Many are saying that the current political breakthrough in Lebanon is as a result of the détente between Syria and Saudi Arabia, in addition to a similar breakthrough in relations between Lebanon and the US. What do you think?
[Ambassador Sison] Let us look at this question from a different angle. I would like to point out that this current [positive] situation allows us to move forward on a number of sensitive regional issues. As you have seen, US Envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, was recently in the region, and he expressed the commitment of President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton to a comprehensive peace in the region. And comprehensive means all the countries [in the region], and this includes a Palestinian – Israeli peace, a Syrian – Israeli peace, and a Lebanese – Israeli peace. I am looking at the picture in the region from a different angle, and I see an opportunity to reach a comprehensive peace in the region, and Lebanon will play a key role in this, as well the rest of the countries in the region.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] There is an ongoing fear in Lebanon that the United States will surrender the country to Syrian administration once again. What do you have to say about this?
[Ambassador Sison] A number of Lebanese ministers spoke with US officials and statements were issued from officials in Washington during President Suleiman's visit to Washington confirming that there will not be any kind of agreement or settlement that comes at the expense of Lebanon, its sovereignty, stability, or security. This is something that we have said many times [before], and the Lebanese people should have confidence in this.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] There has been talk about a new US policy with regards to Lebanon. What can you tell us about this?
[Ambassador Sison] There is an ongoing US policy to support Lebanon and its sovereignty and prosperity; this is a permanent policy. There were fears in the US last December over the issue of arms smuggling to non-official groups, however at the same time the policy of strengthening and supporting the legitimate and official institutions of the Lebanese state, and the military and security organizations, like the Lebanese army and the internal security forces, is ongoing until they are in control of the entire Lebanese territory. There is another part of our policy that is linked to strengthening the education system in Lebanon and developing the judicial system.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] Why is the Lebanese army not being equipped with weaponry sufficient to allow it to control all Lebanon's territory and stand up to Israeli threats? Did the US veto this?
[Ambassador Sison] We have a strong program of support for the Lebanese armed forces which began in 2006, and since then almost $456 million has been spent on training and equipment, and this program is ongoing and will be expanded even further in 2010. There will be further bilateral discussions on this issue next month in Washington [during Lebanese Defense Minister Elias Murr's visit]. This package [of training and equipment] reflects the agreed vision on the development of the Lebanese army and its needs over 5 years, which were identified during talks between the Lebanese army and US military officials. We started out on this path in 2008 with the first bilateral military talks, and the needs of the army were identified with regards to border security, internal security, and combating terrorism. These are three paths that reflect the development of the Lebanese army. During US Vice President Joe Biden's visit to Lebanon last May we saw [the conclusion of] a large deal for US weapons and equipment, which included sensitive equipment like Cessna airplanes, M-60 tanks, and Hummer vehicles. All of this reflects the vision of the past five years and beyond. You asked a lot of questions about military and security aid, but there are a lot of other projects to talk about.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] What about these projects?
[Ambassador Sison] I think it is very important that we talk about the economic support that we are providing to Lebanon, for in addition to confirming the rehabilitation of official schools, we are also offering many educational grants. We [also] continue to support [clean] water management projects, because our studies show that almost 50 percent of [clean] water sources may be lost if they are not managed in a good manner, and we are working on a number of sites to ensure this. In cooperation with state institutions and municipalities, we have contributed to providing clean water to around 27,000 people in the al-Shouf and Bekka regions. Over the past 6 months, we have contributed to launching many projects tied to the economy and the municipalities. This is our daily work, despite the fact that the [media] headlines may concentrate more on political and security issues when we look back at what we have done over the past months we see that we have accomplished a lot of useful projects for economic development and job creation in Lebanon. I believe that these policies are long-term and demonstrate the US's commitment to Lebanon and its development.
By building these institutions that enable the State to provide social services to its citizens, and establishing institutions that provide safety to citizens, we hope that the Lebanese people will no longer have to move towards non-state groups in order to secure their protection and services, for by strengthening the state we are building and investing in Lebanon and we are making it more prosperous and secure for the future.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] What can you tell us about the new US security measures with regards to air travel?
[Ambassador Sison] When this event took place on 25 December [Christmas day bombing attempt of a US commercial aircraft] it could have resulted in the deaths of many citizens of different nationalities. For this reason, the US authorities quickly put in place [security] measures to protect the security of all travelers coming from certain countries, and this includes American citizens. This is an effort to ensure our collective safety in the air regardless of nationality.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] Lebanon is one of the 14 countries whose citizens, in addition to passengers on flights originating in this country, will be subject to more stringent US security checks. What is the reason for this?
[Ambassador Sison] These are measures that aim to ensure our collective safety when traveling.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] Do these security measures have any connection to the reports on the increased Al Qaeda movements in Lebanon?
[Ambassador Sison] These measures are related to the incident which took place in December. Their aim is to ensure the safety of passengers.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] However these measures only apply to specific states, why is Lebanon included on this list?
[Ambassador Sison] I will refer to the previous answer about the objective of issuing these measures, and that is to protect passengers. It is very clear that terrorists in the air will target everybody, regardless of nationality.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] However Lebanon objects to these [security] measures and considers this to be unacceptable.
[Ambassador Sison] This position has been expressed, and the Lebanese officials expressed this to a number of US officials who visited Lebanon, and we have also expressed this to Washington. But let me say once again that these measures are to protect us all, and everybody is subject to these measures, including passengers and diplomats.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] Do you fear Al Qaeda's growth in Lebanon?
[Ambassador Sison] Lebanon, like many other countries, has suffered a lot from terrorism, and there is what happened in 2007 in Nahr al-Bared, and we recall the sacrifices made by the Lebanese army in this area. It is clear that there are risks and challenges in this field.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] What about Hezbollah, do you believe they pose a threat to the US in Lebanon or outside?
[Ambassador Sison] There is no change in our policy towards Hezbollah which is still included on the list of foreign terrorist organizations, and there has not been any change in this policy.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] You will not cooperate with the Hezbollah ministers included in the government's new cabinet?
[Ambassador Sison] This is a reflection of this policy which in fact is a US law.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] How will this reflect upon US – Lebanese cooperation in the agricultural field considering that the Lebanese Minister of Agriculture is a Hezbollah member?
[Ambassador Sison] According to this law, we cannot directly deal with any member of Hezbollah. There are ongoing programs of cooperation with the Lebanese government including water, education, economy, and civilian programs, and these programs will continue.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] But no agricultural programs?
[Ambassador Sison] The programs that are present will continue.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] The Lebanese government says that the issue of Hezbollah's arms is an internal one that can be solved through dialogue. What do you think of this?
[Ambassador Sison] There are two points; firstly the US and other UN Security Council member states deal with this by looking at the UN resolutions on Lebanon, and these say that the arms of any militia must be laid down so that Lebanon is under the [sole] control of the state. As for the dialogue launched by President Suleiman [with Hezbollah], this is something that should be encouraged, and if this dialogue assists in bringing the weaponry which are outside of government control under its control, then this is a good thing.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] Tensions are increasing in the region, and Israel has issued threats against Lebanon; do you fear Israel will launch military operations against Lebanon?
[Ambassador Sison] As I noted previously, there is the issue of arms smuggling which we consider to be a threat to Lebanon, its security, and sovereignty. In July we also saw [the discovery of] Hezbollah weapons caches, while in September 3 missiles were fired into Israel [from Lebanon]. These types of activities are a clear threat to [Lebanese] security and stability. Therefore we go back to emphasizing UN Resolution 1701 that calls for the removal of all illegal weapons from the region south of the Litani River.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] There are reports that Saudi Arabia has put pressure on the US to urge Israel not to attack Lebanon. Is there any truth to this?
[Ambassador Sison] I have not received any reports of this.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] Can we expect an Israeli attack on Lebanon?
[Ambassador Sison] What we must focus on is the necessity of adhering to international resolutions, and to UN Resolution 1701.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] Israel has threatened Lebanon saying that if there is another war, it will target official Lebanese institutions and infrastructure. What is your view on this?
[Ambassador Sison] I return to the discovery of [Hezbollah] weapons caches and the firing of rockets [into Israel]; these types of incidents threaten security and stability, and what is important now is to focus on preventing arms smuggling and applying Resolution 1701, making the region south of the Litani River free of illegal weapons.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] The Lebanese Foreign Minister announced that Resolution 1559 – which supports Lebanese sovereignty and calls for all "foreign forces" to cease interfering in Lebanese internal affairs – has died. What is your view on this?
[Ambassador Sison] The US, like other UN Security Council member states, continues to adhere to this resolution; the full implementation of UN resolutions is very important.

Source: Asharq Al-Awsat

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Lebanese Armed Forces Participate in Small Unit Operations, Marksmanship Seminars with U.S. Army Counterparts

Earlier this month, soldiers from the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) participated in two seminars conducted by personnel from the U.S. Army Central Command. The first seminar focused on small unit military operations, while the second focused on advanced marksmanship techniques. Both seminars included theoretical briefings and practical exercises. These seminars come as part of the U.S. government's support for the LAF as it fulfills its role of safeguarding Lebanon's borders and its citizens. Since 2006, the United States has provided over $526 million in assistance to the LAF. The United States is committed to building the capabilities of the LAF and it will continue to support the government of Lebanon and the Lebanese Armed Forces as they continue their efforts to safeguard the stability, unity and sovereignty of Lebanon.

Embassy Of The United States. Beirut. Lebanon - Press Release

U.S. Government Expresses Condolences

On January 25, 2010, White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs released the following statement: "We are deeply saddened by the loss of the passengers on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409 in Beirut, Lebanon last night. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of those who lost loved ones. The United States commends the government of Lebanon and the United Nations rescue workers in their immediate response and recovery effort."

Monday, January 25, 2010

U.S. Department of State Press Release: Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409‏

On behalf of the American people, the United States extends its deepest sympathies and condolences to the loved ones of those lost aboard Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409. We have been in contact with the Lebanese and Ethiopian Governments to offer assistance. Per the request of Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri, we are providing U.S. assistance in the search, rescue, and recovery efforts. The U.S. will continue to do all it can to support the people of Lebanon and Ethiopia in the face of this tragedy.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George Mitchell Visits Lebanon, Consults with Leaders

On January 19-20, 2010 Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George Mitchell visited Lebanon as part of a visit to several countries in the region. In Lebanon, Senator Mitchell met with Lebanese government representatives, including President Michel Sleiman, Speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Saad Hariri, and Foreign Minister Ali El-Chami to discuss the status of peace efforts and to solicit the Lebanese perspective. Senator Mitchell conveyed the commitment of President Obama and Secretary Clinton to comprehensive peace in the Middle East, which includes peace between Israel and the Palestinians, Israel and Syria, and Israel and Lebanon and the full normalization of relations between Israel and the Arab states. He reiterated that Lebanon would play a key role in the long-term effort to build lasting and comprehensive peace and stability in the Middle East region and that there would not be a lasting solution reached at Lebanon’s expense. Senator Mitchell reaffirmed the United States' commitment to a sovereign and independent Lebanon. As the Special Envoy, Mitchell confirmed to Prime Minister Hariri in their meeting last evening the U.S. will not support the forced naturalization of Palestinians in Lebanon.

Friday, January 15, 2010

National Security Advisor Jim Jones Visits Lebanon

January 15, 2010 National Security Advisor Jim Jones concluded a week-long visit to the Middle East in Lebanon today. Throughout his trip, General Jones discussed the full range of regional challenges and opportunities at this critical time in the Middle East.

While in Lebanon, General Jones met with President Michel Sleiman, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Saad Hariri. During his meetings, General Jones expressed support for strengthening Lebanon’s state institutions, particularly the Lebanese Armed Forces, and for its missions to implement all UN Security Council resolutions relevant to Lebanon and protect all Lebanese citizens. He reiterated the President’s commitment to strengthening the partnership between the United States and Lebanon across a broad range of issues.

The National Security Advisor reiterated the United States’ continued support for a sovereign and independent Lebanon and stressed that our efforts to achieve our goals in the Middle East, especially a comprehensive regional peace, will not come at Lebanon’s expense.

General Jones concluded his visit at the U.S. Embassy where he greeted Embassy staff and retired personnel. The National Security Advisor, who served as the 32nd Commandant of the United States Marine Corps, conveyed the President’s appreciation for the employees’ service and dedication. General Jones also honored those who sacrificed their lives, laying a wreath at the Embassy’s memorial where the names of the 337 people killed in service to the United States government in Lebanon between 1976 and 1995 - including the victims of the 1983 and 1984 Embassy and Marine Barracks bombings - are etched on a stone monument.

Embassy Of The United States. Beirut. Lebanon - Press Release

Monday, January 11, 2010

US Assistant Secretary of State David Johnson visits Beirut to meet with ISF Command

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs David Johnson arrived in Beirut to observe the U.S.-funded capacity building program for the Internal Security Forces (ISF). While in Beirut. Ambassador Johnson and the U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon, Michele Sison, met with the command staff of the ISF, led by Director General Achraf Rifi. On January 11, Ambassadors Sison and Johnson attended and spoke at a graduation of 286 ISF cadets who completed basic policing course funded by the U.S. and instructed by U.S. and Lebanese policing experts. In addition, 21 ISF lieutenants graduated from a three-month course of study in community policing that took place both in Lebanon and in the US.

To date, the U.S. has provided training for over 3,500 ISF officers, cadets, supervisors and instructors. In addition, the U.S. has delivered more than 380 vehicles and refurbished the ISF training facilities in Beirut. This assistance is part of a Department of State Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs initiative to assist legitimate, professional law enforcement institutions in Lebanon and is a symbol of our unwavering support for the ISF, the Lebanese government, the citizens of Lebanon and the implementation of relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions. This assistance will help to support the full sovereignty of a Lebanese Government representing all of its people, and a Lebanese Internal Security Force capable of protecting Lebanon’s citizens and the rule of law.

Embassy Of The United States. Beirut. Lebanon - Press Release

U.S. Senators McCain, Barrasso and Thune Visit Lebanon

On January 8-9, 2010, a congressional delegation headed by U.S. Senator John McCain of Arizona visited Lebanon as part of a seven-country tour to the region. The delegation held discussions with President Michel Sleiman, Parliament Speak Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Saad Hariri as well as other Lebanese political leaders on the U.S.-Lebanese relationship. They also discussed U.S.-funded assistance for security, economic growth, development and reform programs in Lebanon. During the visit, the delegation reaffirmed the United States' commitment to supporting a strong, independent, and democratic Lebanon.Senator McCain is the Ranking Member on the Senate Armed Services Committee and serves on the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and the Committee on Indian Affairs. The delegation also included Senator John A. Barrasso from Wyoming and Senator John R. Thune from South Dakota. Senator Barrasso serves on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the Environment and Public Works Committee, the Indian Affairs Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Senator Thune serves on the Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry Committee, the Armed Services Committee, the Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee, and the Small Business Committee.

Embassy Of The United States. Beirut. Lebanon - Press Release

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

U.S. Ambassador Michele J. Sison Meets With Ministers of Telecommunications, Finance, and Interior

On January 4, 2010 U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Michele J. Sison met with Minister of Telecommunications Charbel Nahas, Minister of Finance Raya al-Hassan, and Minister of Interior Ziyad Baroud. Ambassador Sison expressed her congratulations on their appointments and conveyed the U.S. government's commitment to continued cooperation between the Embassy and the new Lebanese cabinet on important priorities.

At the Ministry of Telecommunications, Minister Nahas and Ambassador Sison discussed developments in Lebanon's telecom sector, including recent Government of Lebanon initiatives to improve fixed-line, mobile, and broadband services. Ambassador Sison noted the potential for a privatized telecommunications industry in Lebanon to be an engine for economic growth.

In their meeting at the Ministry of Finance, Minister al-Hassan and Ambassador Sison discussed U.S.-Lebanese cooperation aimed at job-creation and economic growth as well as assistance programs in Lebanon.

Ambassador Sison and Minister Baroud discussed the Ministry's technical preparations for the upcoming municipal elections and the United States' continuing support program for training and capacity building through its implementing partner, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES). They also discussed current and planned U.S.-funded programs to train and equip the Internal Security Forces (ISF) to strengthen the capacity of the ISF to fulfill its role as the government of Lebanon institution responsible for defending the rule of law in Lebanon and protecting the Lebanese people.

After the meetings, Ambassador Sison expressed the U.S. government's desire to assist the Government of Lebanon achieve its many objectives:

"The United States looks forward to working with the Government of Lebanon. We look forward working the ministers to establish a foundation for strong economic growth, economic reform and job creation that will benefit all Lebanese. The U.S. government and the U.S. private sector offer our support to Lebanon in addressing these important priorities. Meanwhile, our continuing support for law enforcement in Lebanon will enhance the capacity of the Lebanese government to guarantee the security of its people. I look forward to continuing this conversation with Minister al-Hassan, Minister Nahas, and Minister Baroud and others on how to assist Lebanon attain new levels of prosperity and well-being for all its citizens."

Embassy Of The United States. Beirut. Lebanon - Press Release