Burns On U.S. Support For Lebanon


The United States is committed to supporting Lebanon as it deals with the increasing pressure along its borders caused by the sectarian war in neighboring Syria, and as it takes up the strain of accommodating the enormous influx of refugees escaping from that conflict.

“We recognize the enormous burden the conflict in Syria places on Lebanon,” said Deputy Secretary of State William Burns in Beirut last week. “The way in which the Lebanese Government and people have so generously opened their homes, schools, and communities to over 500,000 Syrian refugees has inspired us all.”

In late June, President Barack Obama announced an additional $300 million in humanitarian assistance for Syria and its neighbors. Of that amount, the largest share, $72 million, will help refugees in Lebanon and their host communities.

The United States will also continue to work with other donors and partners to ensure that the international community provides Lebanon with the urgent humanitarian and development assistance it needs, said Deputy Secretary Burns.

At the same time, the United States is also finding other means of aiding Lebanon. For one, because we believe that the Lebanese Armed Forces, or LAF, have a critical role in preserving Lebanon’s stability and security, we offer them our unwavering support and assistance.

Since 2006, the United States has invested nearly a billion dollars in training and equipment for the LAF, as well as for Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces. “We are determined to continue to provide that kind of support, given the LAF’s role in helping to unite people across Lebanese society,” said Deputy Secretary Burns.

At the same time, the United States condemns in the strongest possible terms Hezbollah’s attacks on the Lebanese Armed Forces, as well as its intervention in Syria. As Deputy Secretary Burns said, "That intervention may be in Hezbollah’s interest, it may be in the interest of Iran, it may be in the interest of Bashar al-Assad, but it is certainly not in the interest of Lebanon or the Lebanese people.”

The United States has a strong and enduring commitment to Lebanon’s stability, sovereignty, and independence. We pledge to continue to strengthen our long-standing partnership with the government and people of Lebanon.