Ambassador Hale Visits Tripoli

Today American Ambassador David Hale visited Tripoli where he met with former Prime Minister and MP for Tripoli Najib Mikati, Justice Minister General Ashraf Rifi, and the Mufti of Tripoli and the North Sheikh Malek al-Shaar. Below is Ambassador Hale’s statement delivered during his visit.


First of all, I’d like to say how glad I am to be back in Tripoli. This is a city I’ve been fortunate enough to visit over a 20 year span and I’m particularly grateful for the hospitality of his Excellency Minister Rifi. Earlier today, I had the opportunity to meet with the Mufti of Tripoli and the North as well as former Prime Minister Mikati.

I’ve been struck in my visit today at just how normal this city is, just like every other Lebanese city. And although it has suffered greatly in the past, there’s no doubt that the army and the internal security forces have done a terrific job – in an exemplary way – in bringing security and stability to this city. Tripoli has great aspirations and it has great potential. I have great respect for the people of Tripoli for their hospitality and their moderation. And I hope to see new focus on development, economic growth, and opportunity in Tripoli. During my visit, I learned what more the international community, including the United States, can do to be of help.

Meanwhile, I’d like to say that at the national level, the United States will remain a committed partner of the Lebanese Armed Forced. The Army’s maximum security performance and counter terrorism work is now as vital as ever. We look forward to our continued work together shoulder to shoulder with the army and its command structure and offer our full support. Thank you.