Hale Says Flexibility of Lebanese Leaders Only Way Out of Crisis


U.S. Under Secretary of State for Middle East Affairs David Hale stressed on Wednesday that the United States and the international community are ready to help Lebanon but not without a “Lebanese partner.”

“America and the international community are ready to help but can do nothing meaningful without a Lebanese partner,” Hale said from Ain el-Tineh where he met Speaker Nabih Berri.

“It is time that Lebanese leaders show sufficient flexibility to form a government that is willing and capable of true and fundamental reform. That is the only way out of the crisis. It is also only a first step,” he added.

“Sustained cooperation will be needed if we are going to see transparent reforms adopted and implemented,” concluded Hale.

Before meeting Berri, Hale met with caretaker Foreign Minister Charbel Wehbe. He refrained from giving any statement to reporters after the meeting.

Nidaa al-Watan described Hale’s trip to Lebanon as “exploratory,” and “unlikely to produce any solution for the controversial sea border indirect talks between Lebanon and Israel.”

At the government file, the paper said Hale’s visit is expected to only carry “an American position that does not differ from previous positions calling for the formation of a credible government of specialists to begin implementing a reform program required of the international community and the IMF.”



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