POLICY Statement

November 10, 2017: U.S. Embassy in Lebanon Statement by Secretary Tillerson On the Situation in Lebanon

November 10, 2017

"The United States strongly supports the sovereignty and independence of the Republic of Lebanon and of its political institutions. The United States urges all parties both within Lebanon and outside to respect the integrity and independence of Lebanon’s legitimate national institutions, including the Government of Lebanon and the Lebanese Armed Forces. In this regard, we respect Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri as a strong partner of the United States. The United States supports the stability of Lebanon and is opposed to any actions that could threaten that stability. There is no legitimate place or role in Lebanon for any foreign forces, militias or armed elements other than the legitimate security forces of the Lebanese state – which must be recognized as the sole authority for security in Lebanon. The United States cautions against any party, within or outside Lebanon, using Lebanon as a venue for proxy conflicts or in any manner contributing to instability in that country." Read more here. U.S. Deparment of State: November 9, 2017 Briefing
Below are excerpts from the November 9, 2017 Deparment Press Briefing with Heather Nauert, Spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State. Please note that in the video, Ms. Nauert is asked about Lebanon at minute 11:44. 

Ms. Nauert: "Yeah. Well, let me take that last part first. I believe we have a Travel Warning – and I want to double-check this, but I believe we do have a Travel Warning that is in effect right now for Lebanon, as we do many countries around the world."

Ms. Nauert: "Okay. So I addressed the part of U.S. citizens who may be there. I want to mention that our charge d’affaires, who’s serving in Saudi Arabia – his name is Chris Henzel – he met with Prime Minister Hariri yesterday, so had a chance to speak with him. I cannot provide you with a readout of that conversation or any specifics of it, but we have seen him. In terms of the conditions of him being held or the conversations between Saudi Arabia and the Prime Minister Hariri, I would have to refer you to the Government of Saudi Arabia and also to Mr. Hariri’s office." 

Ms. Nauert: "Sure. I – we would just say we’re monitoring the situation very closely. Our – we have a good relationship with Prime Minister Hariri, with the Government of Lebanon. As you all know, he was here earlier this year, where he met with the President, and Secretary Tillerson was a part of that. I do not anticipate that our relationship will change as a result. We’ve watched the news and seen the news that some countries are making the decision to encourage their citizens to leave the country. That is something that a country has the right to do." Read more here. 

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