7.21.2005

United States Welcomes Agreement on New Lebanese Cabinet

International community stands ready to support new government

The United States welcomes the agreement between Lebanese President Emile Lahoud and Prime Minister-designate Fouad Siniora on a list of ministers to fill the 24 cabinet posts in Lebanon’s new government, according to a State Department statement issued July 19.

“Through democratic elections and popular movements, the Lebanese people have expressed their desires for sovereignty and a genuine program of political, economic, and institutional reform,” the statement says.

Siniora, a former finance minister, was chosen to form a new government following Lebanon’s legislative elections in May and June. These were Lebanon’s first elections free of direct Syrian political influence in three decades.

The statement says the United States looks forward to a parliamentary vote of confidence on the proposed cabinet and adds that the international community stands ready to assist the new government in its reform efforts. Siniora has stated his intention to pursue economic reforms, particularly by reducing public-sector waste.

The statement also calls for the full implementation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1559, which calls for the disbanding of all militias.

Following is the text of the statement:

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
JULY 19, 2005

Statement By Adam Ereli, Deputy Spokesman

Lebanese Government Formation

The United States welcomes the agreement between President Lahoud and Prime Minister-designate Siniora on a list of cabinet ministers for Lebanon's next government. Through democratic elections and popular movements, the Lebanese people have expressed their desires for sovereignty and a genuine program of political, economic, and institutional reform.

Much hard work still lies ahead. We look forward to seeing the Prime Minister-designate and his proposed cabinet slate presented to the Parliament for a vote of confidence, so that the important work on reform and implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559 can proceed.

The international community stands ready to support a Lebanese reform program and looks forward to working with the new cabinet after a Parliamentary vote of confidence.


Source: International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State

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