EMBASSY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
January 23, 2018
Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorist Financing Marshall Billingslea Visits Lebanon
Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorist Financing Marshall Billingslea visited Lebanon January 22-23, 2018 to discuss combating illicit finance, including financing of Hizballah’s terrorist and trafficking activities. During the visit, Assistant Secretary Billingslea met with President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Speaker of the Parliament Nabih Berri, Minister of Finance Ali Hassan Khalil, Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh, Chairman of the Banking Control Commission Samir Hammoud, the Association of Banks of Lebanon, and the Union of Arab Banks.
In his meetings, Assistant Secretary Billingslea engaged with Lebanese authorities and financial institutions on combating all forms of illicit finance. A/S Billingslea stressed the importance of countering Iranian malign activity in Lebanon, and the U.S. commitment to help Lebanon protect its financial system from Hizballah, ISIS, and other terrorist organizations. A/S Billingslea also urged Lebanon to take every possible measure to ensure Hizballah is not part of the financial sector. Concerning the Hizballah International Financing Prevention Act II (HIFPA II), A/S Billingslea stressed the law does not target the Shia community, but targets Hizballah’s financial activities worldwide.
Assistant Secretary Billingslea highlighted the close partnership that the U.S. government has with the Central Bank of Lebanon and Lebanese financial institutions, and reiterated the importance of adhering to U.S. sanctions. He reiterated the U.S. commitment to work with Lebanon to protect and promote Lebanon’s financial system and to support a strong, stable, and prosperous Lebanon.