Thursday, June 14, 2012

Deputy Assistant Secretary Kelly Clements Visits Lebanon

June 14, 2012 -Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Kelly Clements completed her visit to Lebanon today where she met with senior officials to discuss and monitor the status of Palestinian and Iraqi refugees and displaced Syrians present in Lebanon.  This was Ms. Clements' second visit to Lebanon as Deputy Assistant Secretary.  
Ms. Clements had meetings with Higher Relief Council Secretary General General Ibrahim Bachir, senior representatives of President Michel Sleiman and Prime Minister Najib Mikati, United Nations officials, including UN Resident Representative Robert Watkins, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Lebanon Representative Ninette Kelley, United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) Acting Director Roger Davies, and non-governmental leaders.
In her meetings, Ms. Clements welcomed the work of the Higher Relief Council to assist those in need and she urged the Lebanese government to continue to work closely with the international community to address the humanitarian needs and to ensure the safety of displaced Syrians in Lebanon.  She underscored the United States' continuing commitment to providing humanitarian assistance to the people of Syria in their country and those who have fled violence to neighboring countries.  During this fiscal year, the United States has provided $52 million in emergency aid through contributions to international and non-governmental partners.
She reiterated the United States' steadfast support to Palestinian and Iraqi refugees in the region.  Ms. Clements further renewed the commitment of the United States to a stable, sovereign and independent Lebanon.