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Posts Tagged ‘Lebanon’

 

Acts of Terrorism in Beirut

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
October 19, 2012

The United States condemns in the strongest terms the acts of terrorism that took place in Beirut’s Achrafieh neighborhood today. We extend our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of those who were killed.

The assassination of the Brigadier General Wissam al-Hassan, who was a strong defender of Lebanon’s security and its people, is a dangerous sign that there are those who continue to seek to undermine Lebanon’s stability. Lebanon must close the chapter of its past and bring an end to impunity for political assassinations and other politically motivated violence. We call on all parties to exercise restraint and respect for Lebanon’s stability and security.

The United States remains committed to an independent, sovereign, and stable Lebanon. We will continue to work with our partners to preserve Lebanon’s security and stability.

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The Situation in Lebanon

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
May 25, 2012

The United States is concerned that developments in Syria are contributing to instability in Lebanon. We encourage all parties to exercise restraint and demonstrate respect for Lebanon’s security and stability, consistent with United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1559 and 1701. We call on the Syrian regime to stop the violence against its own people and fully implement the Annan Plan. The regime needs to institute a peaceful, democratic transition now. We remain committed to a unified, stable, sovereign, and independent Lebanon.

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Mme. Secretary’s day at UNGA today was packed with bilaterals.  We see her in these pictures with Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati,  Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi,  Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh,  Brunei’s Crown Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah, and  Colombian Foreign Minister Angela Holguin.  It was a productive day, but much too busy for her to make any press statements.   For those who would like details, please see the following links.

Memorandum of Understanding with Ukraine on Nuclear Security Cooperation

Background Briefing on China, Lebanon, and Georgia

Background Briefing: Secretary’s Bilateral Meetings on Colombia, Vietnam, and the Ukraine

Here are the pics.  Enjoy!

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Anniversary of Former Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri’s Assassination

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
February 13, 2011

The February 14, 2005 assassinations of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and 22 others with a car bomb in downtown Beirut changed Lebanon forever. The assassination of “Mr. Lebanon” reminded all Lebanese of the fragility of their pluralistic system. Rafiq Hariri was not only a symbol for Lebanon; he was a husband, father, brother, and friend. He transcended sect and stood with the people of Lebanon, giving hope to his country after 15 years of ruinous civil war.

For decades, the people of Lebanon have fought for their inherent right to live free from fear of murder for political reasons. We call on the next Lebanese government to provide stability and promote justice for the people of Lebanon by honoring its obligations to the Tribunal. This is a decisive moment for Lebanon. No more Lebanese families should ever have to mourn the deaths of loved ones at the hand of cowardly assassins. Those who would try to block Lebanon’s cooperation should desist and show a measure of human decency. Ultimately, without justice, there can be no peace and stability for Lebanon.

The United States continues its unwavering support for the full implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions 1701, 1680 and 1559. These resolutions are testaments to Lebanon’s sovereignty and independence. The United States and the international community stand solidly behind the people of Lebanon as they observe this day of sorrow. We remain committed to working together for a peaceful, prosperous, and sovereign Lebanon.

 

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We know that the post of Secretary of State is a 24/7  job, and no one takes that reality more seriously than our current dedicated and assiduous SOS as the following glimpses into her weekend attest.  With governments in flux and collapse in three key countries: Pakistan, Lebanon, and now Tunisia, here is how Secretary Clinton spent part of her day yesterday.

Secretary Clinton Calls Tunisian Foreign Minister

Media Note

Washington, DC
January 16, 2011

Secretary Clinton called Tunisian Foreign Minister Kamel Morjane today to express support for the people of Tunisia as they and their government go through a period of significant transition. She urged that the Government work to re-establish order in the country in a responsible manner as quickly as possible. She also underscored the importance of addressing popular concerns about the lack of civil liberties and economic opportunities, and the need to move forward with credible democratic elections. She noted that the United States is encouraged by recent remarks by Prime Minister Ghannouchi and Interim President Mabazza indicating a willingness to work with Tunisians across the political spectrum and within civil society to build a truly representative government. Lastly, the Secretary offered the assistance of the United States in helping Tunisians to meet these challenges, and assured the Foreign Minister that the United States will stand with Tunisia as it moves forward to address them.

This, not from the State Department, but from a news outlet further testifies.

Suleiman to Clinton: Lebanese Will be Able to Solve Crisis Through Dialogue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President Michel Suleiman informed U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a phone conversation late Saturday that the Lebanese will be able to solve their crisis through dialogue and consensus.

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Madame Secretary, we appreciate all of the hard work you do and that you dive into the teeming waters whenever necessary even on weekends and holidays.  Thank you for your unflagging service!

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Last night, Secretary Clinton met with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Saudi King Abdullah at the Plaza in New York City. My kind and generous readers Lilly and Rachel shared an article and some pictures that I could not make visible on the thread. Since the Secretary was accompanied on this visit by her best fella, (and also because posting the pictures here is the only way I can make them visible), I decided they merited a post of their own. Enjoy. As I type, Mme. Secretary is en route to the Persian Gulf.











Here is the article Rachel shared.

Clintons congratulate king

Here is another that I found.

Clinton meets Lebanon PM, Saudi king in New York

Thank you, Lilly and Rachel!

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Interview With Hisham Melhem of An-Nahar

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Department of State
Washington, DC
November 10, 2010

 


 

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, recently, we have seen increased American focus on Lebanon, including your call to Prime Minister Hariri, additional funds for the STL, and stepped up criticism of Syria, Iran and Hezbollah. Is this driven mainly by the visit of Iranian president Ahmadinejad as some Lebanese are alleging, or caused by concern that Lebanon could unravel?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you for the question. First, let me say that America’s support for a sovereign, independent, and stable Lebanon is rock solid and unwavering. We are committed to a strong partnership with Lebanon and to Lebanon’s future, and we stay in close contact with Lebanon’s leaders and consult with them regularly. That is also why the United States will continue to speak out against those who would undermine Lebanon’s stability and its sovereignty.

We will continue to encourage actors within Lebanon and across the region to act responsibly and in the best interests of the Lebanese people. When a party makes inflammatory statements or violates international norms, we feel it is important to say, publicly, what we believe to be true: responsible actors on the international stage should work to help resolve conflicts, not reignite them. They need to uphold their commitments and responsibilities, not seek to evade them. And responsible actors in Lebanon need to pursue their political agendas through peaceful means, not via intimidation or threats.

Of course, the President and I also respect the leadership demonstrated by President Suleiman and Prime Minister Hariri, especially during this challenging period. And I have reaffirmed this recently in conversations I have had with both the President and the Prime Minister.

QUESTION: What can the U.S. do in practical terms to help the Lebanese government fend off the campaign waged by Hezbollah and Syria to undermine and discredit the STL as an Israeli-American plot, now that Hezbollah is using “the multitudes” against the STL’s investigators as we have seen recently.

SECRETARY CLINTON: The recent assault on Tribunal investigators, which you alluded to, should be of grave concern to all Lebanon’s friends and supporters. Strong statements were made at the UN and elsewhere condemning any actions that attempt to frustrate or undermine the Tribunal and its work. Intimidation and interference should not be tolerated.

The problem in Lebanon is not the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. The problem is that some are threatening violence in order to try to stop justice. The Special Tribunal is an independent judicial entity, established in response to a terrible time in Lebanon’s history by an agreement between the Lebanese government and the United Nations, and brought into force by a UN Security Council Resolution with wide international support. Its work is legitimate and necessary.

We should not lose sight of the fact that the Tribunal symbolizes something larger than the investigation into the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. It represents a chance for Lebanon to begin moving beyond its long history of political violence. Tragically, Lebanese of all communities and confessions have been plagued for years by violence and threats. And yet very few have ever been held accountable for their crimes. This history is a major source of instability and the tension that people in Lebanon feel today. They deserve a return to the rule of law and justice for all – these are crucial building blocks for stability and peace in Lebanon.

QUESTION: There is concern in Lebanon and the region, that if the STL issued indictments against some Hezbollah operatives or leaders, that Hezbollah would resort to force as it did in 2008 to create new facts on the ground. What would the US do in this case?

SECRETARY CLINTON: First, it bears repeating that no one knows what the Special Tribunal is going to do, who it might indict, or when it might choose to move forward. This is an independent process. Hezbollah should know that resorting once again to violence in Lebanon runs completely counter to the interests of the Lebanese people, the interests of the region, and of the United States. They should also know that if the goal of violence is to stop the tribunal, it won’t work. And more importantly, there is simply no justification or excuse for more political violence. That is the position of the United States and it will not change.

QUESTION: There is concern in Lebanon that the country could pay a steep price if it became an arena for renewed regional and international conflicts, and that the U.S. may not appreciate fully the inherent danger in such a situation.

SECRETARY CLINTON: We know this is not the first time Lebanon has faced real challenges and rising tensions. The Lebanese people have shed too many tears and buried too many loved ones. They deserve lasting peace and an end to political violence once and for all. The United States is committed to that goal, and we will continue supporting the Lebanese Armed Forces to ensure they have the capacity to protect Lebanon’s security from threats both internal and external. We also work hard to avoid actions or statements that would raise temperatures higher or inflame tensions further.

Lebanon has many friends, in addition to the United States, who are strong supporters of its sovereignty and security. We are in frequent contact with our friends and allies about how we can work together to support the Lebanese people and their elected government.

President Suleiman, of course, came to power after the Doha Agreement of 2008, and as his election showed, he has widespread support in Lebanon. He is in a position to help unify Lebanon and maintain the country’s peace and stability.

QUESTION: Where is the policy of engaging Syria heading? After almost 20 months, Syria’s behavior and policies in Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq have not been altered, and its alliance with Iran is as strong as ever. It seems that the Syrians believe that there are no disincentives or consequences for them to desist.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Syria’s behavior has not met our hopes and expectations over the past 20 months – and Syria’s actions have not met its international obligations. Syria can still choose another path and we hope that it does.

Let me be clear – we are not engaging for engagement’s sake. We are engaging to advance our interests and to find areas where cooperation can promote mutual interests. Our engagement with Syria will never come at Lebanon’s expense. Nor will it come at the expense of holding Syria accountable for its behavior.

We have had some useful conversations – for example, Special Envoy George Mitchell has engaged with Syria on the Middle East peace progress, and my Assistant Secretary Jeff Feltman has had good consultations with Syrian officials about Iraq. And our engagement has enabled us to present Syria’s leaders, and the Syrian people, with a more balanced and optimistic vision for the region’s future than the messages of war and destruction carried by Iran and Hezbollah.

But we have also had some very difficult discussions with Damascus about its actions in Lebanon and elsewhere. Syria lives with consequences of pursuing policies that are outside established international norms – which is largely why the region’s economic development of the past decade has left Syria behind. So again, as I said, the choice is up to Syria – and we hope that it chooses to embrace its responsibilities.

QUESTION: What is the status of your contacts with Congress, regarding lifting the hold on supplying U.S weapons to the Lebanese Armed Forces? Do you expect the “lame duck” Congress will do that, and are you concern that the Republican House will continue the hold?

SECRETARY CLINTON: It has been our longstanding policy to support the Lebanese Armed Forces. The LAF helps to ensure stability and protect the people of Lebanon. It is a truly national institution and a strong symbol of national unity, which includes members of all of Lebanon’s diverse faiths and communities. It is representative and accountable. We look forward to continuing to work with Congress to maintain this support, which we believe is in the best interests of the Lebanese people and contributes to stability in Lebanon and in the region.

QUESTION: The U.S. and Syria have been exchanging accusations of meddling in domestic Lebanese affairs, but Syria’s friends in Lebanon always claim that the U.S talks the talk but it does not walk the walk, and that its allies in Lebanon cannot be sure it will not enter into bargains, including with Syria at their expense.

SECRETARY CLINTON: America’s support for a sovereign, independent Lebanon is a key element of our policy in the region. It is non-negotiable. It is not something we are prepared to bargain with or exchange. It is as simple as that. We have been clear about this commitment and transparent in our relations with the Lebanese government. That stands in stark contrast to others, including certain internal actors in Lebanon, whose actions are neither transparent nor accountable to the proper national authorities.

We will continue our policy of supporting the independence of the Lebanese state and strengthening Lebanese institutions, and we will raise our concerns about Syrian interference in Lebanon during our continuing discussions with Damascus.

QUESTION: To what extent could Syria’s behavior in Lebanon influence America’s efforts to revive the Syrian-Israeli track? Can Syria expect to re-engage in peace negotiations without altering its posture vis-à-vis Iran, and or Hezbollah in Lebanon?

SECRETARY CLINTON: The Obama administration is deeply committed to achieving comprehensive regional peace in the Middle East, including peace between Israel and Syria and Israel and Lebanon and the full normalization of relations between Israel and its neighbors. That is also the vision of the Arab Peace Initiative, which was announced in Beirut. The United States firmly believes that the various tracks are mutually reinforcing. Syria itself has said that it wants to have its territorial expectations met through a peace deal with Israel. So we are going to keep working to get there.

More broadly, we welcome Lebanon and Syria having a positive, normal bilateral relationship. When Syria and Lebanon have had bad relations, there have been negative consequences not just for Lebanon but for the wider region. But a positive and constructive bilateral relationship is built on mutual interests and mutual respect, on international norms, and must be based on the idea you don’t interfere in the sovereignty of the other country.

QUESTION: What can you tell us about persistent media reports regarding continued Syrian provisions of missiles, including scuds to Hezbollah, and joint training on these missiles in Syria?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Reports of the transfer of increasingly sophisticated weapons from Syria to Hezbollah is of serious concern to the United States and to the international community. It threatens regional security. It threatens Lebanon’s security. It destabilizes the region in a way that serves no one’s interests. Let’s not forget that Hezbollah, in 2008, did just what it swore it would never do: turn its weapons against the Lebanese people—the very people it swore to defend—and that’s something that should never be encouraged, enabled, or repeated.

We have been warning everyone, including Syria, about the dangers of miscalculation and the dangers associated with the transfer of sophisticated technologies and weaponry.

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