U.S. to offer support to Lebanese government in face of political vacuum
The Obama administration is planning to issue a statement that would back the Lebanese government after the presidential vacuum and call for the swift election of a new head of state, diplomatic sources said.
The sources told al-Joumhouria newspaper published on Thursday that the statement would come in support of Premier Tammam Salam's cabinet after it took over the authorities of President Michel Suleiman, who left Baabda Palace on Sunday following the expiry of his six-year term.
It would back efforts exerted to elect a president as soon as possible to limit the vacuum's timeframe, the sources said.
Lebanon's rival parties have failed to agree on a compromise president, resulting in vacuum at Baabda.
The statement is also expected to back the government in its attempt to confront the crisis of the Syrian refugees whose numbers rose to about 1.1 million, the sources said.
On Wednesday, U.S. Ambassador David Hale said in a statement that it was “unfortunate” the polls “did not occur on time, in accordance with the Lebanese constitution.”
“As the United States has done consistently, we encourage the Lebanese parliament to elect a new president as soon as possible,” he said.
The diplomat thanked Suleiman “for his strong and wise leadership in a difficult time, and for his commitment to strong ties between our countries.”