Thursday, February 20, 2014

Senators Tim Kaine and Angus King Visit Lebanon

February 19, 2014

A delegation from the U.S. Senate visited Lebanon today as part of a regional tour.  The delegation included Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Angus King (I-ME).  The delegation met with President Michel Sleiman, Prime Minister Tammam Salam, Lebanese Armed Forces Commander Jean Kahwagi, UNHCR Representative Ninette Kelley, and NGO representatives.  The visit focused on U.S. humanitarian assistance to Lebanon to deal with the influx of refugees from Syria, which currently stands at over $340 million.  The delegation welcomed Lebanon's formation of a new government subject to the confidence of parliament and reaffirmed U.S. support to Lebanon to support the prosperity, security, and sovereignty of the state.


Monday, February 17, 2014

Ambassador Hale Following his Meeting with Prime Minister Salam

February 17, 2014
I just had a very positive meeting with Prime Minister Salam. I reiterated Secretary Kerry's statement from Saturday, welcoming the government's formation, subject to Parliament's confidence. Prime Minister Salam is someone for whom my government and I personally have the greatest respect and admiration. We stand ready to work with him and his team to advance our bilateral relations and to help with the many challenges facing Lebanon. Lebanon cannot and need not deal with these challenges alone. The International Support Group for Lebanon came into existence for that very purpose.

Foremost among the challenges are:

  • promoting Lebanon's policy of dissociation from the conflict in Syria,
  • ending terrorist acts and violence,
  • helping Lebanese communities cope with the refugees from Syria, and
  • protecting the opportunity for the Lebanese to choose their own leaders, as president and in parliament, freely, fairly, on time, and in accordance with Lebanon's constitution.

Through upholding the Taef Agreement and Baabda Declaration, and fully implementing UNSCRs 1701 and 1559, Lebanon's political leaders and the international community can best help the Lebanese people meet those goals and bolster peace, stability, prosperity, and freedom here.

This is also an opportunity to express America's respect for the leadership Prime Minister Mikati demonstrated during a difficult period. We value his moderation and his commitment to strong American-Lebanese relations. We look forward to continued partnership with him in the years to come.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Formation of New Government in Lebanon

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
February 15, 2014
The United States welcomes Lebanon's formation of a new government, subject to the confidence of parliament. We have long said that the people of Lebanon deserve a government that responds to their needs and protects their interests.
We look to today's announcement to be an important first step in addressing the political uncertainty that has hampered Lebanon in recent years. Amidst growing terrorism and sectarian violence, we look to the new cabinet, if approved by parliament, to address Lebanon's urgent security, political and economic needs. The challenges ahead for Lebanon include addressing the needs of Lebanese communities hosting refugees from Syria; strengthening national institutions; countering extremist ideologies and redoubling counterterrorism efforts; encouraging economic growth, including offshore energy development; and holding presidential and parliamentary elections in a timely, transparent, democratic, and fair manner, in accordance with Lebanon's constitution.
The United States reiterates its strong commitment to Lebanon's sovereignty, security, and stability. We will continue to support the Lebanese Armed Forces and the Internal Security Forces – the sole legitimate security forces in Lebanon. We look to the Government of Lebanon to continue to support these institutions and to do all it can to ensure that all parties comply with Lebanon's obligations and commitments, including UN Security Council Resolutions 1559 and 1701. All those in Lebanon must uphold the Taif Agreement and the Baabda Declaration, including Lebanon's policy of disassociation from the Syrian and other foreign conflicts. This policy is the best way to ensure Lebanon's stability and security.
The United States looks forward to working effectively with the new Lebanese government to bolster peace, stability and prosperity in Lebanon, for the sake of the Lebanese people.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

American Embassy Condemns Terrorist Bombing in Hermel

February 1, 2014
The American Embassy condemns tonight's bombing in Hermel and extends its condolences to the victims and their families.  We regret that the people of Hermel have once again been subjected to an act of reprehensible terrorism.  We urge all parties to exercise restraint and refrain from contributing to the cycle of violence.  We renew our call for the full implementation of the Baabda Declaration, UN Security Council resolutions 1559 and 1701, and the Taif Agreement.  We reaffirm our support for the Lebanese Armed Forces and the Internal Security Forces in their role in maintaining Lebanon's security and call for the perpetrators of this attack to be brought to justice.

U.S. Department of State Updates Travel Warning for Lebanon

February 1, 2014
Today the Department of States updated its travel warning for Lebanon. As the warning states, the Department is concerned about recent security-related incidents in the country and reiterates its long-standing advice that U.S. citizens avoid all travel to Lebanon, and carefully consider and accept risks if they do.
American citizens who do travel to Lebanon should sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive the latest security updates. To register, please go to the Department's travel website at: You will also find a link to the Travel Warning on this site.
The Embassy has an official website, Facebook page, and Twitter account.  These are the official sites of the Embassy.  Information that comes from other sites or social media applications are not from the Embassy.  Please check the Embassy's sites for official information about this, or to learn more about other Embassy programs and events.
The Embassy continues to work with the people and institutions of Lebanon to help ensure stability.