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.