Today, American Ambassador David Hale met with Ambassador Charbel Wehbe at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Following the meeting, Ambassador Hale announced plans to build the new American Embassy in Lebanon.
Below are Ambassador Hale’s remarks.
I wish to thank the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for hosting us. I just finished a productive meeting with Ambassador Charbel Wehbe. Today, I am pleased to announce the plans for the construction of a new American Embassy in Lebanon. This project represents a nearly $1 billion dollar investment by the American government in our partnership between America and Lebanon and our long-term commitment to this partnership.
We won’t be moving far. Our new facilities will be located just next door to the current embassy, still in Awkar, which has been our home for many years. The final design for the new embassy takes into account the topography of this particular site. As you will see from the design, the new embassy will maintain a low profile along Awkar Road. The areas of the embassy that will be frequented by the public – the consular and public diplomacy sections – are designed to create a pleasant experience for our visitors. American and Lebanese art will be installed in these areas.
The new embassy will be a sustainable and eco-friendly facility for American diplomacy in Lebanon. The design meets rigorous energy-saving and sustainability goals and will take advantage of the mild Mediterranean climate to reduce energy usage. Landscaping and rock-scape roofs across the embassy will use water-saving native plantings. Large areas of natural vegetation throughout the site will be left intact to preserve the local ecosystem. Durable, locally sourced materials, such as sculpted, pre-cast concrete, stone, and metal panels, will be used to improve longevity and reduce energy used during construction. Our priority on energy-savings and sustainability will mean that the new embassy will reduce its environmental impact while enhancing the space around it.
Our plans for this embassy are just one more example of the enduring partnership that exists between the United States and Lebanon. The new embassy will give us more space to advance our common interests and reflect the growing and deepening ties between our two countries. It will leave no doubt about the continued American commitment to and investment in Lebanon. America is here to stay, to work with the Lebanese people for a secure, stable, prosperous, sovereign, and free Lebanon. Thank you.