Rice offers Lebanon support for reform
Lebanon-USA, Politics, 7/23/2005
Lebanese Premier Fuad Sanyoura said Syria and Lebanon are neighboring countries and have fraternal relations and "We are determined to establish good and correct relations between the two countries and to boost trade and economic ties in the interest of the two sisterly states."
In a press conference jointly held with U.S. Secretary of States Condoleezza Rice, Sanyoura underlined that Syria and Lebanon will try to solve their problems without outside help.
He also underscored his country's respect to the international law, asserting that Lebanon will conduct serious dialogues among all the Lebanese parties regarding the UN resolution 1559.
On settling the Palestinians in Lebanon, Sanyoura underlined Lebanon's complete opposition to this issue.
He pointed out that his talks with Rice were good and dealt with the reform process in Lebanon on all levels, asserting that reform programs should be one hundred percent Lebanese program in order to be adopted by the Lebanese people whatever difficulties are.
For her part, Rice expressed her country's readiness to support the reform programs in Lebanon, saying "the U.S. doesn't want to impose on Lebanon its future... it is a Lebanese' decision and we look forward for working positively with Lebanon." She pointed out that her visit to Lebanon is to support the Lebanese new government, saying "I'm sure that friendship between the Lebanese and the Americans will develop and become stronger starting from today."
Rice said about "what I am here to do is to support the new Lebanon, and the new Lebanon is one that is democratic, the new Lebanon is one that should be free of foreign influence.Ê It is a Lebanon in which Lebanese should make decisions for the Lebanese, and it is one that does have international obligations that we fully expect to be carried out. This is a hopeful time, and as Lebanon moves forward through this hopeful time, I think that it is going to find an international system that is very strongly committed to a Lebanon that is free of violence, that is free of terrorism, that is unified and the Lebanon where all people of Lebanon feel represented and safe.Ê This is a country that has been through a great deal.Ê It's been through a period of foreign influence and effective occupation.Ê It is going to take some time to work through these things, but the Lebanese Government understands that the world will expect them to live up to their international obligations.Ê Lebanon is, though, in a very important political process right now and we intend to support that political process."
In a meeting with the U.S. Secretary of States Condoleezza Rice on Friday, Lahoud underscored Lebanon's commitment to peace in the region, saying "Just and comprehensive peace contributes to boosting stability in Lebanon." He also stressed the Lebanese determination to develop the country and restore its stability, stressing the need to know who assassinated Former Lebanese Premier Rafiq al-Hariri.
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