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