Deputy Assistant Secretary Dibble: Good morning. I am delighted to be back in Beirut after almost a year since my last visit. I just had very good discussions with Ambassador Assaker. We discussed regional and Lebanese developments. The United States looks forward to further supporting Lebanon once the government is formed. We hope that this will happen as soon as possible to enable us to further to offer assistance and for Lebanon to move forward. So again thank you. I am delighted to be here.
Question: Are you planning to meet Minister Trad Hamade?
Deputy Assistant Secretary Dibble: No, I have no plans to meet him. The purpose of my visit is to participate an American Chamber of Commerce event tomorrow evening. But I am taking advantage of my time here to have other meetings and to get the latest on the situation.
Question: What is your opinion now about the change in politics in Lebanon? Because before eleven months you have been here, how do find Lebanon now?Deputy Assistant Secretary Dibble: Well, I think Lebanon is at a crossroad. There is a window of opportunity to move forward on important issues of political and economic reform. We look forward to working with the new government when it is formed. We hope it is formed quickly, so that the people of Lebanon can get on with the business at hand and the international community can offer its support to Lebanon


Question: You will be meeting with Prime Minister Seniora. Do you have some ideas or suggestions for the new government?

Deputy Assistant Secretary Dibble: I look forward to that meeting and to discussing with him the latest developments. I am here in a listening mode.

Question: You are not transmitting any message from the US government?

Deputy Assistant Secretary Dibble: The U.S. message is support for the new government and its reform efforts and we stand ready to assist Lebanon. There are many things that need to be addressed: electoral reform, judicial reform, economic reform, and we stand ready to help.

Question: What about Resolution 1559?

Deputy Assistant Secretary Dibble: Our position on that has been very clear. UNSCR 1559 needs to be fully implemented.

Question: No, because Hizballah said that it did not want to implement it now – that they are waiting for the resolution of the Middle East crisis

Deputy Assistant Secretary Dibble: I think our position is clear. Resolution 1559 needs to be implemented. Thank you very much.

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