U.S. Ambassador Maura Connelly considered on Friday the nomination of Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam “a positive first step in efforts to form a new government.” During a meeting with Salam at his residence in al-Msaitbeh, Connelly stressed that the formation of the cabinet “must be a Lebanese process,” said a statement issued by the U.S. embassy. “She reiterated the United States position that the Lebanese people deserve a government that reflects their aspirations and that strengthens Lebanon’s stability, sovereignty, and independence while fulfilling its international obligations,” it said.

Connelly “encouraged the continued work of responsible Lebanese leaders to adhere to Lebanon’s legal and constitutional framework to hold timely parliamentary elections,” said the statement. It added that the diplomat and Salam discussed bilateral relations and the political and security situation in Lebanon.