US prepared to support if Lebanon commits to reform, says Pompeo

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, commenting on the new Cabinet in Lebanon, said that the US was “prepared to engage, provide support, but only to a government that’s committed to reform. That’s important for America.”

“We want a non-corrupt government that reflects the will of the people of Lebanon. If this government in responsive to that and there’s a new set of leaders that’s prepared to make those commitments and deliver on that, that’s the kind of government that we’ll support around the world and the kind of government we would support in Lebanon,” Pompeo said in exclusive comments to Al Arabiya.

About the new government headed by Hassan Diab, with support from the Hezbollah, Pompeo said that Washington will “have to look” at the situation in Lebanon.

“I saw what happened over the last 24 hours. We have been very clear about the requirements for the United States to engage. Lebanon has a terrible financial crisis that lies in front of it in just the weeks ahead,” noted Pompeo.

The US Secretary of State referred to the protests taking place across Lebanon. “If you look at the protests that are taking place in Beirut and cities outside of Beirut, you can see, just like in Baghdad – go look at the protests in Baghdad – these aren’t anti-American protests; these are protests demanding sovereignty and freedom. The protests taking place today in Lebanon are saying to the Hezbollah, “No more.”

In a statement issued by the US State Department, Pompeo said: “The unified, non-sectarian, and largely peaceful protests over the last three months reflect the Lebanese people’s aspirations for their political leaders to put aside partisan interests and to act in the national interest.”

“We urge the government, army, and security services to guarantee the safety of citizens as they engage in peaceful demonstrations. Violence and provocative actions have no place in civil discourse.”

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