Today, Secretary Kerry called President Michel Sleiman of the Republic of Lebanon to discuss recent developments in Lebanon and the region. The Secretary thanked President Sleiman for his leadership and stressed that United States is fully committed to supporting the President’s efforts to safeguard Lebanon’s security and sovereignty.
President Sleiman and Secretary Kerry discussed recent security incidents in Lebanon. The Secretary condemned the attacks against the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) in Sidon on June 23-24 and extended his condolences for the 17 soldiers killed in the violence. Secretary Kerry affirmed the United States’ commitment to providing continued assistance to the LAF and the Internal Security Forces (ISF). He also thanked the President for the Lebanese people’s generosity in hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees and emphasized that the United States would continue to support United Nations’ and other efforts to care for the refugees.
The Secretary and President Sleiman also discussed the recent increase in cross-border incidents with Syria and agreed that it is imperative that all parties in the region refrain from any actions that would draw Lebanon into the conflict in Syria. Secretary Kerry noted that the United States would take all necessary steps to encourage the international community to continue to strongly promote and protect Lebanon’s sovereignty, independence, and security.