BEIRUT: President Michel Sleiman discussed with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry the crisis in Syria as well as U.S.-Lebanon ties and the role Washington can play to make an upcoming international conference on Lebanon a success.
A statement from the presidential office Wednesday said Sleiman received a phone call from Kerry in which the two discussed bilateral relations at various levels.
The two officials also discussed developments in the region, particularly “the crisis resulting from the use of the chemical weapons [in Syria] and Washington’s positions and diplomatic efforts in this regard,” the statement said.
Sleiman reiterated his condemnation of the use of chemical weapons and stressed the need to bring those responsible for the alleged gas attack in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta accountable by the U.N. Security Council away from any foreign intervention.
The administration of President Barack Obama has accused the regime of President Bashar Assad of killing hundreds of people in Eastern Ghouta on Aug. 21 by firing rockets loaded with Sarin, a deadly, colorless and odorless substance.
Sleiman also highlighted the importance of finding a political solution to the ongoing conflict in Syria, according to the Baabda Palace statement.
Moreover, Sleiman underlined the importance of protecting civilians during armed conflicts regardless of which sect they belong.
The statement said Sleiman also stressed the significance of the weight Washington can put to make a meeting of the International Group to Support Lebanon a success.
The meeting to be held in New York Sept. 25 is designed to mull ways to support the stability of Lebanon and its economy as well as the Lebanese Army and efforts to deal with the burden of the growing number of Syrian refugees.