Washington, D.C: Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Thursday, 15 August 2019, thanked the U.S. Government’s continued support to Lebanon and especially of the Lebanese Armed Forces and national security forces and reaffirmed Lebanon’s partnership and joint commitment to the fight against terrorism.
Hariri was addressing media persons jointly with the US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo.
Hariri confirmed to the commitment to continuing the negotiation process led by the US Ambassador Satterfield on behalf of the U.S. Government concerning Lebanon’s land and maritime borders. The proposal was communicated to the President of the Republic and the Speaker of the Parliament of Lebanon and to him, he added saying they consider the process to be viable and will continue to support constitutional next step leading up to a final decision in the coming months, hopefully September.
Equally, there is a continued support for the CEDRE Conference and Capital Investment Plan, which are essential to the revival of the Lebanese economy. We are dedicated to advancing these initiatives which will bolster security and stability for Lebanon and the region, Hariri said.
The US Secretary of State Pompeo told media persons thay during his conversation with Hariri, he reiterated the United States commitment to a bright future for the people of Lebanon. As part of that commitment, the US will continue to support the credible state institutions inside of Lebanon. They are essential to preserving Lebanese security, stability, and sovereignty, and they are essential to making sure that the needs of all of the Lebanese people are met, Pompeo emphasised.
They are also essential to an effective response to the many political, economic, and humanitarian challenges in Lebanon. This is a region that is threatened by Iran and is a nation threatened by its proxy Hizballah, and we welcome the Prime Minister’s courageous commitment to keep taking full responsibility for Lebanon’s defense, Pompeo added.
The US also welcomes Hariri’s commitment to undertake the ambitious and necessary reforms that will unlock future international assistance for Lebanon’s economy, Pompeo observed. He also went on to welcome the commitment made to providing refugees, especially the more than 1 million that have come from Syria into Lebanon. “You’ve provided them shelter from the repressive and depraved Assad regime, and we appreciate that, Pompeii said adding “we look forward to continuing to make further progress on our partnership.”
Pompeo also appreciated the Lebanese prime minister’s statement about the commitment to make progress towards the resumption of productive expert-level discussions for the handful of remaining points with respect to the Blue Line and the initiation discussions on the Israel-Lebanon maritime border. “We are prepared to participate as a mediator and facilitator in the maritime discussions, and we do hope that we will soon see substantive discussions on these important issues, the resolution of which would be greatly beneficial to Lebanon and to the broader region”, Pompeo said.