Friday, July 29, 2011

Highlights: Hariri Tribunal

Deputy Spokesperson Toner (July 29): "This indictment's an important milestone, and we call on the Government of Lebanon to continue to meet its obligations under international law to support the special tribunal."

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Message from the President Regarding the Continuation of the National Emergecy with Respect to Lebanon

Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)) provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless, prior to the anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date. In accordance with this provision, I have sent to the Federal Register for publication the enclosed notice stating that the national emergency declared with respect to the actions of certain persons to undermine the sovereignty of Lebanon or its democratic processes and institutions is to continue in effect beyond August 1, 2011.

Certain ongoing activities, such as continuing arms transfers to Hizballah that include increasingly sophisticated weapons systems, serve to undermine Lebanese sovereignty, contribute to political and economic instability in the region, and continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. For these reasons, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared on August 1, 2007, to deal with that threat and the related measures adopted on that date to respond to the emergency.
July 28, 2011.

Monday, July 25, 2011

U.S. Army General Visits LAF Leadership.

July 25 2011
Lieutenant General Vincent Brooks, Commanding General of U.S. Army Central Command visited Lebanon on July 25, 2001 to discuss the continuing cooperation between the Lebanese Armed Forces and the United States military. During the visit, General Brooks met with the Commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces General Jean Kahwagi to discuss bilateral security cooperation initiatives.
General Brooks expressed the United States’ appreciation of the strong partnership between the LAF and the United States and praised the LAF's professional performance fulfilling its national duties. General Brooks called on the LAF to continue its efforts to fulfill its mission in support of UNSCR 1701 and stressed the importance of a strong U.S.-LAF partnership to further bolster its operational capacity to implement UNSCR 1701.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

United States Donates $1.7 million in Facilities and Supplies to Support ISF.

July 22, 2011
In July 2011, the United States government donated to the Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF) facilities, equipment, and supplies valued at over $1.7 million U.S. dollars. Through the Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, these donations fall within the framework of the United States’ continuing assistance for law-enforcement programs in Lebanon.

Included in the donation is a new police station in the area adjacent to the Nahr El Bared Palestinian Refugee camp fully furnished and equipped per ISF specifications. The value of this donation is $1,134,570.

The United States also provided urgently needed equipment and supplies to assist the ISF in preparing expanded training facilities at the ISF Training Academy in Warwar. This equipment will be utilized in new classrooms at Warwar to train an expected 4,000 newly recruited ISF officers and Sergeants. The value of the donated supplies and equipment is $176,073. The U.S. government also constructed and equipped a firing range to train ISF cadets on the use of weapons at the ISF Training Academy in Aramoun. The value of the donated firing range and equipment is $434,424.

The U.S. Government has been assisting the ISF in its development since October 2006 and has committed over $132 million to this program. The professional development of the ISF is critical for Lebanon’s sovereignty, independence and security.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

U.S. Ambassador Meets with Minister of Foreign Affairs

On July 20, 2011 U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Maura Connelly had an introductory courtesy call with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants Adnan Mansour at the Minister's offices in Achrafieh. Ambassador Connelly and Minister Mansour discussed the ongoing areas of bilateral cooperation between the various ministries and agencies of the Lebanese government and the U.S. government. Ambassador Connelly also discussed with Minister Mansour Lebanon’s obligations to uphold all its international commitments.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

U.S. Embassy Celebrates Independence Day.

July 1, 2011
U.S. Ambassador Maura Connelly warmly welcomed Embassy guests at the celebration of the 235th anniversary of the independence of the United States of America, held on July 1, 2011 at the Dbayeh Marina. The attendees represented a wide array of Lebanese society including national and local government officials, business executives, religious leaders, Lebanese Armed Forces and Internal Security Forces officers, media personalities, cultural figures and alumni of U.S. government-sponsored programs.

In her remarks, Ambassador Connelly said “this year, the revolutionary changes that have spread across the Arab world in such a short time give a new context for these words, written so long ago. The Declaration could describe the motivations of the millions of Arab citizens who, this year, have taken their countries’ political destinies into their own hands. In this year of great change and promise in the Middle East, for Americans, the celebration of our own independence takes on new meaning….Independence is something that must be constantly renewed and refreshed to insure that whatever government is elected truly represents the legitimate will of the people it represents….In the end, the people know what they want. It is up to the government to listen to them. For our part, we will endeavor to help the people of the region so they can one day describe their governments as, to quote President Abraham Lincoln, ‘government of the people, by the people, and for the people.’”

Friday, July 01, 2011

Indictments by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon

Press Statement
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
July 1, 2011

The United States congratulates the Special Tribunal for its hard work on completing this important step. We understand that this is an emotional and significant period for all involved, and we call on all parties to promote calm and continue to respect the Special Tribunal as it carries out its duties in a professional and apolitical manner.

The confirmation of the indictments by the pre-trial judge and their delivery by the Special Tribunal to the Lebanese authorities is an important milestone toward justice and ending a period of impunity for political violence in Lebanon. We call on the Government of Lebanon to continue to meet its obligations under international law to support the Special Tribunal.

The Special Tribunal is an independent judicial entity, established by an agreement between the Lebanese Government and the United Nations in response to a very difficult time in Lebanon’s history. Its work is legitimate and necessary. It represents a chance for Lebanon to move beyond its long history of political violence and to achieve the future of peace and stability that the Lebanese people deserve. Those who oppose the Special Tribunal seek to create a false choice between justice and stability. Lebanon, like any country, needs and deserves both.