David Hale Arrived in Lebanon and Here’s What He Said

Friday morning, December 20th, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale arrived in to attend his scheduled meetings with different politicians in . Since its announcement, his visit has been anticipated by the Lebanese for the ambiguity of its motives.


Speculations and theories regarding his trip to began to surface since it was made known to the public. Many people, in and even in the , wondered what were the intentions of the former U.S ambassador to when he decided to fly to the struggling country.

While some argued that he would be addressing the - maritime borders issue that has regained momentum recently, others believed his visit had something to do with the – then-upcoming – binding parliamentary consultations to name ’s next Prime Minister.

Via L’Orient-Le Jour


Around noon on Friday, Hale kicked off his political activity in by making his first visit to the president in Baabda. From the presidential palace, he said that his visit reflected the “solid relationship” between the U.S and .

Prior to that statement, during the meeting, President Aoun informed David Hale of the newly appointed Prime Minister, , and told him that the formation of a new, capable government will soon follow this appointment.

Via New Lebanon


The president praised the for the support it has shown for the and took the opportunity to ask that the States renew its efforts in supporting the demarcation of the southern maritime border with to preserve peace and stability in the south.

He also mentioned to Hale the Greek exploration ship that trespassed these borders this week. On the other hand, Hale told the president that the U.S urges Lebanon to form a government of specialists able to undergo real reformations.

Via Aawsat


After concluding his meeting with President Aoun, David Hale then met with Speaker of Parliament in Ain El Tineh, where he stated that “It’s time to put aside partisan interests and act in the national interest.” Hale also attested that his country had no role in choosing or appointing Lebanon’s Prime Minister.

Parliament Speaker , in turn, stressed to the former ambassador that “ is responsible for the violations of Resolution 1701, not the last of which was the flight of drones over the southern suburbs [of ].” The two discussed Lebanon’s political scene before the meeting was over.

Via Alnour


Lastly, former PM Hariri welcomed David Hale for lunch in the afternoon in Bait Al Wasat, and the two proceeded to review the latest updates in Lebanon and the region.

Following the meeting with PM Hariri, Hale expressed his wish that the new government undergoes the reformations needed for the economy to flourish. He also informed the public of Washington’s readiness to assist Lebanon economically if such reformations are realized.

Via Aawsat


Regarding the ongoing protests, Hale praised their peacefulness while urging Lebanese security forces to maintain the safety of the protesters and to “prohibit the use of violence and intimidation tactics” against them.

David Hale is still scheduled to meet the leader of the Lebanese Forces party, Samir Geagea, at 11:00 a.m Saturday, December 21st. One source told The Daily Star that Hale’s visit to Lebanon “is purely to light a fire under them [Lebanese politicians] to wake up.” 

Via Kataeb


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