A recent opening in the standoff between the West and Syria should be seized to resolve the more than 29-month-old conflict, Speaker Nabih Berri told the new U.S. ambassador to Lebanon Thursday.
Berri “stressed the importance of the available opportunity to adopt a political solution for the Syria crisis, noting that what the U.S. ambassador said represents his own personal view”.
During his first meeting with U.S. Ambassador David Hale, Berri also noted the importance of dialogue among the Lebanese and the need to form a new Cabinet to address the current challenges.
Hale said talks with Berri focused on a full range of issues facing Lebanon and the region.
“We all know that this is indeed a challenging time for Lebanon and I assured [Berri] that the United States seeks to be a strong partner with Lebanon and with the Lebanese people to promote peace, stability and prosperity,” he said, according to a statement on the U.S. Embassy website.
Hale added that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was currently in Geneva in the spirit of exploring diplomatic ways of getting the regime of President Bashar Assad to give up its chemical arms stockpile.
“It was, in fact, the threat of U.S. military action and the very constructive conversation that President Obama and President [Vladimir] Putin had in St. Petersburg that opened up this possibility,” Hale said, according to the statement.