Shea Meets Aoun and Miqati, Urges 'Reform-Focused Govt.'


U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea on Monday offered her country's "sincere condolences over the loss of life and grievous injuries suffered in yesterday's explosion in Akkar."

"Earlier today, I met with Prime Minister-Designate Miqati, and we discussed the status of Lebanese efforts to form a government quickly. And I just now concluded a meeting with His Excellency President (Michel) Aoun, in which we discussed the same topic," Shea said after talks with Aoun in Baabda.

"I reiterated the absolute urgency of the situation. The Lebanese people are suffering. The economy and basic services have reached the precipice of collapse. Every day that goes by without an empowered government committed to and able to implement urgently needed reforms is a day in which the already dire situation slides further into humanitarian catastrophe," Shea warned.

She added that the United States and the international community are "partnering to provide direct support to the people of Lebanon," and "will continue to do so."

"As I stand here, I have colleagues urgently working on the aid that President Biden recently announced to help where basic, sometimes lifesaving, services have failed. This is the government’s responsibility, but we know the people of Lebanon cannot wait," Shea said.

"In parallel, we urge those who continue to block government formation and reform to put aside partisan interests," the ambassador added.

She also said that Washington welcomes the EU’s new sanctions framework to "promote accountability and reform in Lebanon," adding that the United States "will continue to coordinate with our partners on appropriate measures."

"Lebanon needs its leaders to take urgent rescue action, and that can’t happen without an empowered, reform-focused government that begins to address the needs of the people and begins the hard work of economic recovery. It’s not going to happen without leadership, but it can happen," Shea went on to say.

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