At the beginning of this month, the White House budget office and National Security Council had decided to withhold the foreign military assistance to Lebanon. This means that Donald Trump’s administration is withholding $105 million in security aid for Lebanon.
U.S. officials stated that this security assistance is important for Lebanon that is struggling with instability. They continued saying that withholding this aid will allow Russia to move in.
A week ago, the Russian Minister Bogdanov warned Amal Abou Zeid, an adviser to Lebanon’s President, “It is unacceptable any external attempts to interfere in the Lebanese affairs or to play out geopolitical scenarios, using, and artificially escalating, the existing difficulties faced by the friendly Lebanon.”
In response, U.S. Government’s spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus released a statement saying that this was incorrect and that this is a tired trope that has been used many times around the world by the Russian Government.
Reuter reports that despite the United States’ concern about Lebanon’s economic collapse, they stated that they will not bailout Lebanon and that the government had enough time to do reform, and they failed to do so.
The United States “reaffirms its permanent friendship with the Lebanese people,” saying that they will remain committed to a brighter future for Lebanon and stand with the Lebanese people in their calls for reform.
On the eve of Independence Day, U.S. President Donald Trump sent a greeting cable to President Michel Aoun for Lebanon’s Independence Day, “The American people share my best wishes for Lebanon’s Independence Day. The friendly relations between the Lebanese and American peoples are strong.”
“The United States is ready to work with a new Lebanese government that meets the needs of the Lebanese by building a stable, prosperous, independent, and secure country,” President Trump’s cable stated, according to NNA.
President Trump also expressed Washington’s willingness to work with the new Lebanese Government that meets the Lebanese people’s needs.