Kerry from Grand Serail: Lebanon important country for region security

Wed 04 Jun 2014 at 18:50 Politics

NNA - US State Secretary, John Kerry, said on Wednesday that Lebanon was an important country for the region's security, maintaining that the US was very committed to Lebanon's security, stability, and sovereignty, as well as to supporting the Lebanese people.

"We must solve the problems of the world and the region so that we enjoy our time in Beirut and Lebanon. Lebanon is an important country for the security of the region," Kerry told a news conference following his meeting with Prime Minister Tammam Salam at the Grand Serail today.

"We know that the repercussions of the war in Syria have spilled over into Lebanon," he indicated, adding that he has met with some refugees in camps in Jordan. "There, I felt huge frustration over their condition. Their lives are changing but they do not know how it will and when the war will end."

"The reverberations of the war on the people of Syria are clearly showing, and I call Russia and Hezbollah to work on ceasing this work; and it is important to support the communities neighboring Syria," he continued.

"The situation in Lebanon is a little bit different because the capacity to contain refugees is different than the other countries and there are no camps; there are challenges in that respect, which constitutes a huge load on the infrastructure and the society. We must realize this humanitarian disaster," he went on to say.

He also announced USD 290 million in humanitarian aid to the hosting communities.

Kerry did not fail to confirm that his country was working on reaching a political solution to this crisis, noting that 51 million USD will be earmarked to the refugees in Lebanon and the Lebanese community.

On the internal political level, the top US diplomat said, "We want a government to be away from foreign interference and a very strong president as well as a House Speaker that meets the needs of the Lebanese people."

"I clarified to Prime Minister Salam that President Barack Obama is committed to supporting Lebanon and security therein. Lebanon's security was our major concern for the past years and the vacuum in Lebanon is very important and the constitutional void must be filled so that all institutions should be active," he corroborated.

Furthermore, he saw that the challenges were huge and major and that Lebanon deserved to have an efficient government that worked fully. "We hope that the Lebanese Parliament would elect a new president in the nearest time possible; the US will remain a strong partner to Lebanon."

"I came to ask the Prime Minister of Lebanon about the future plan and how the government will deal with the Syrian crisis," he made it clear.

He said that vacuum would only complicate matters for Lebanon and the neighboring countries, underlining that the political situation might get tense between the Parliament and the government.

On a different note, Kerry said that the United States did not recognize a government for Palestine "because this is recognition of a state."


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