Statement By Robert Palladino, Deputy Spokesperson

Formation of a New Government in Lebanon

The United States welcomes Lebanon’s announcement of the formation of a new government and congratulates President Aoun and Prime Minister Hariri on this historic occasion.  We commend Lebanese leaders for working collectively to overcome the political obstacles that prolonged this process, and we look forward to engaging with the new Lebanese government to strengthen further our bilateral relationship.  In this regard, the Secretary looks forward to traveling to Lebanon.

Nevertheless, we are concerned that Hizballah, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, will continue to occupy ministerial positions and was allowed to name the Minister of Public Health.  We call on the new government to ensure the resources and services of these ministries do not provide support to Hizballah.

We look to all parties in the new government to uphold Lebanon’s policy of disassociation from regional conflicts and its international obligations, including those contained in UN Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR) 1559 and 1701.  In this regard, we welcome Lebanese leaders’ recent statements committing to abide by UNSCR 1701 and appreciate their recent efforts to avoid escalating tensions along the Blue Line.  We hope Lebanon’s new government will take urgent action to implement meaningful measures necessary to improve Lebanon’s difficult economic situation.

The United States reaffirms its strong support for Lebanon’s security, stability, and sovereignty and will continue to stand with the Government of Lebanon and the Lebanese people as they build a stable and prosperous future.