BEIRUT: John Kerry will visit Beirut Wednesday, Lebanese political and security sources told The Daily Star, making his first trip to Lebanon since becoming U.S. secretary of state.
Kerry is expected to hold talks with Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Tammam Salam during his visit to Beirut, a security source said. His visit to Lebanon is expected to last a few hours.
When contacted by The Daily Star, the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon could not confirm nor deny the reports.
Kataeb MP Elie Marouni was optimistic about the visit, saying the trip opened a new page for Lebanon after authorities succeeded in restoring law and order.
The crisis in Syria has laid a heavy burden on its tiny neighbor in light of the overwhelming number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Earlier this year, Lebanon witnessed a series of car bombings linked to Hezbollah’s involvement in the war-torn country alongside regime troops.
A nationwide security plan curbed the attacks, claimed by Islamist rebel groups based in Syria.
Lebanon has also plunged into a presidential vacuum after lawmakers failed to reach a consensus on a candidate, with no end in sight to the political stalemate in the near future.
Last week, Kerry stressed the importance of rapidly electing a new Lebanese president, while praising former President Michel Sleiman for his work throughout his six-year term
During a phone call with Sleiman, Kerry reiterated his country's support for Lebanon and the Baabda Declaration, which the U.S. official said represented a cornerstone for future stability.