U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo confirms U.S. commitment to support Lebanon in reconstruction and reforms
BEIRUT — Lebanese President Michel Aoun and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held a telephone conversation during which they discussed the ongoing negotiations to demarcate the maritime border between Lebanon and Israel, as well as the U.S.’s economic support for Lebanon to assist in the reconstruction of the neighborhoods damaged by the massive explosion at the Beirut’s port.
Secretary Pompeo welcomed the start of negotiations, said a U.S. State Department statement, but noted that during the call, Pompeo discussed the first anniversary of anti-corruption protests in the country and affirmed the U.S.’s strong stance on ending corruption in the Lebanese government, especially as it relates to Iran and Hezbollah.
Pompeo said the United States looks forward to the formation of a Lebanese government that is committed and able to implement reforms that could lead to economic opportunities, better governance, and an end to rampant corruption.
The two sides discussed the tragic Beirut port explosion, which left over 100 people dead and significantly damaged the capital city’s infrastructure, and Pompeo informed Aoun that the U.S. is prepared to continue its assistance to reconstruction efforts.
President Aoun thanked Pompeo for the role played by the U.S. as a mediator in negotiations with Israel and for the support it has given to Lebanon during its successive crises.
Spoke today with Lebanese President Michel Aoun and welcomed the start of negotiations between Lebanon and Israel to agree on a common maritime boundary. I also underscored the importance for Lebanon's political leaders to implement reforms as called for by the Lebanese people.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) October 19, 2020