BEIRUT: U.S. Ambassador David Hale said Monday that Washington is offering Lebanon its full support to combat terrorism.
“We stand by your side and offer full support, assistance and partnership to the ISF and Lebanese Army,” Hale said on his Twitter account.
His comments came following a meeting with Prime Minister Tammam Salam where the two men discussed U.S. support for Lebanon’s security and management of the spillover from the war in neighboring Syria.
Internal Security Forces (ISF) and Army troops have beefed up measures over the weekend to crack down on terrorism following Friday’s car bombing that left one police officer killed and 32 people wounded.
Hale acknowledged the hard work by Salam’s government and the security institutions.
“Lebanon’s government and security institutions are working hard and effectively to counter terrorism and maintain stability,” he said, highlighting the ISF and the Army.
He urged the Hezbollah-led March 8 and Future Movement-led March 14 coalitions to end political rivalry in order to maintain stability.
“This is a time to close gaps so that Lebanon’s security and stability can be reinforced,” Hale tweeted.
He also said it was “essential” to uphold the Baabda Declaration and adopt a true policy of diassociation from the Syria crisis.
“The region’s battles must not be fought in Lebanon. That means Lebanese should not be drawn into the battles being fought by others.”
But Hale said for international assistance to be effective, Lebanon “needs fully functioning governance in presidency, Parliament and Cabinet.”
Lebanon has been without a head of state since President Michel Sleiman’s term ended May 25 with lawmakers botching several voting sessions over lack of consensus.
“Decisions are for Lebanese, but costs of indecision felt by everyone with a stake in Lebanon’s stability and prosperity,” Hale said.
He urged intensified efforts to elect a president.