The U.S. State Department has hailed the efforts exerted by March 14 opposition political leaders to maintain security and expressed support for a new era in Lebanese-Syrian relations.
“We support Lebanon’s political leaders’ efforts to maintain security and to prepare for the day when a democratic government in Damascus will usher in a new era in Lebanese-Syrian relations,” said the State Department on the occasion of the anniversary of the 2005 Cedar Revolution.
“We will continue to stand with and support the people of Lebanon and all those across the region as they work for democratic governments that will fulfill their aspirations and respect their rights,” it said.
“In 2005, long before the inspiring and dramatic events of the past year, the people of Lebanon shattered the myth that the only way to produce change in the region is through violence and conflict,” the statement said about the protests that drove Syrian forces out of Lebanon.
It also saluted the brave and proud Lebanese who peacefully took to the streets following the Feb. 2005 assassination of ex-Premier Rafik Hariri to demand a better future for themselves and their homeland.
But the State Department stressed that challenges remain for the Lebanese people.
“Foreign-backed groups seek to turn back the clock,” it said in reference to Hizbullah that is backed by Iran and the Syrian regime.
It also warned that “the brutal violence unleashed by the Assad regime against its own people risks destabilizing the region, including Lebanon.”
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