The office of the President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, issued a statement following the meeting between the Head of State and the US Under Secretary of State in charge of the Middle East, David Hale, currently on an official visit to Lebanon.
The President thus underlined “the importance of continuing the negotiations on the demarcation of the maritime borders between Lebanon and Israel” calling on the United States to assume the role of an honest and just mediator “. He also considered that” the Lebanon has the right to hold its position according to its interest and in accordance with international law and constitutional principles “, before calling for the accreditation of international experts to delimit the exclusive zones between Lebanon and Israel.
Indirectly responding to Tel Aviv’s desire to launch soon the exploration of a part claimed by the 2 country, the President of the Republic stressed that he would also like to obtain a commitment not to carry out oil or gas activities and not to start any exploration work until an agreement has been reached. No compromise on the sovereignty, the right or the interests of the Lebanese can be concluded, noting moreover that this file is the subject of an internal consensus in the Country of the Cedars.
For its part, David Hale said he traveled to Lebanon at the request of US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to underline the support of the United States to Lebanon before estimating that the Lebanese are suffering “because the leaders failed to solve the economic problems”.
“Lebanon’s mismanagement has led to this situation and it remains possible to form a government that stops the collapse. The United States is ready to help but we must see reforms ”, underlines David Hale, alluding to the conditions of the international community for the release of the economic aid to the Country of the Cedars.
The US official also denounced Hezbollah “and illegal activities that prevent the establishment of a peaceful state”. He also attacked Iran, accused of financing the Shiite movement.
“The United States will not let down its friends and Lebanon”, we will facilitate the negotiations concerning the maritime borders (with Israel) which will have an economic benefit capable of resolving the crisis ”, he concluded.
Yesterday, the US Under Secretary of State in charge of the Middle East David Hale had successively met with several Lebanese leaders including the outgoing Minister of Foreign Affairs Charbel Wehbé, the President of the Chamber of Deputies Nabih Berri and the Prime Minister designate Saad Hariri – shortly before his departure for Moscow – to address the current political crisis. He thus communicated to the latter the American concerns about the deterioration of local social and economic conditions, calling on them to be flexible in their demands. He is also awaited by the President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun at the Baabda Palace.
This is an accumulation of decades of mismanagement, corruption and the inability of the Lebanese leaders to put forward the interest of their country, had then estimated David Hall after an interview with Nabih Berri, recalling that the the international community and the United States are ready to help if a local partner – alluding to the absence of government – exists. He also called for the establishment of economic reforms which should be transparent and implemented.
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