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Remarks After meeting With Lebanese Parliamentary Speaker Nabih Berri

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Ain el-Tineh
Beirut, Lebanon
June 16, 2008

Secretary Rice with Lebanese Parliamentary Speaker Nabih Berri speaks to the press Beirut, Lebanon. Photo credit: U.S. Embassy - Lebanon SECRETARY RICE: Good afternoon. I have concluded my visit to Lebanon with a meeting with the Speaker of the Parliament, Mr. Nabih Berri. It was a very good meeting. We’ve met before. I was, of course, able to congratulate him on the marriage of his daughter, of which he’s very proud, but also to, of course, talk about the future course of Lebanon, to emphasize with him the things that I’ve emphasized throughout my visit here:  the support of the United States for a Lebanon that is sovereign, independent, democratic, that is able to provide for all Lebanese, and that has democratic institutions that are intact and functioning. 

I congratulated him on the Doha agreement and the election of President Suleiman and the reconvening of the Parliament. And so as Parliament works very hard on a number of issues including, I know, a new electoral law, I know that Speaker Berri knows that he has the support of the United States, and that Lebanon has the support of the United States in any way that we can be helpful. So thank you very much. It’s been a very good visit.

MR. MCCORMACK: All right. Thanks, guys.

QUESTION: Are you still considering Hezbollah as a terrorist organization?  Are you going to support a government which includes Hezbollah members?

SECRETARY RICE: Our position on Hezbollah remains unchanged.  The position of the United States has been -- has listed Hezbollah as a terrorist organization for years. It is up to the Lebanese people, the composition of their government, and we’ll continue to work with the democratically elected Government of Lebanon. We hope that the government formation will proceed, and proceed rapidly, and we look forward to working with that government. 

MR. MCCORMACK: All right, guys.

SECRETARY RICE: Thank you. Thank you very much. 

Released on June 17, 2008

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