Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Secretary Michael R. Pompeo With Kevin Cirilli of Bloomberg

JANUARY 22, 2020


QUESTION: I just have a couple of final questions. The situation in Lebanon – they've had their cabinet, and they've got Hizballah connections. Is the U.S. going to work with this new cabinet?

SECRETARY POMPEO: We'll have to take a look at it. I don't know the answer to that yet. I saw what happened over the last 24 hours. We've been very clear about the requirements for the United States to engage. Lebanon has a terrible financial crisis that lays in front of it in just the weeks ahead. We're prepared to engage, provide support, but only to a government that's committed to reform. That's important for America, but if you look at the protests that are taking place in Beirut and cities outside of Beirut, you can see, just like in Baghdad – go look at the protests in Baghdad – these aren't anti-American protests; these are protests demanding sovereignty and freedom. The protests taking place today in Lebanon are saying to Hizballah, "No mas." No more. We want a non-corrupt government that reflects the will of the people of Lebanon. If this government in responsive to that and there's a new set of leaders that's prepared to make those commitments and deliver on that, that's the kind of government that we'll support around the world and the kind of government we would support in Lebanon.