U.S. Reiterates Support for Hariri, Says Cabinet Resignations Sign of Fear

Washington reiterated support for Caretaker Premier Saad Hariri and its call on all Lebanese parties to exercise restraint and coordinate in finding a solution to the Lebanese crisis.

"The United States reiterates its call to all political factions to maintain calm and exercise restraint at this critical time," U.S. Ambassador Maura Connelly said in a statement following talks with Hariri at Center House.

"We urge all the parties in Lebanon to work together to find a solution for the numerous issues that face the Lebanese people. It is now more important than ever that all sides commit to constructive dialogue and avoid escalating tensions in the country," said the statement.

Connelly stressed that the U.S. will continue to work with Hariri as head of Lebanon's caretaker government.

She said the Special Tribunal for Lebanon is an independent, international judicial process whose work is not subject to political influence.

"The efforts by the Hizbullah-led coalition to collapse the Lebanese government only demonstrate their own fear and determination to undermine Lebanon's sovereignty and independence," the ambassador said.

Last week, 11 ministers withdrew from Hariri's unity government, forcing its collapse and plunging the country back into crisis.

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