US Offers an Extra $67 Million to Aid Lebanon's Army, Senior Administration Official Says
19:40 GMT 14.10.2021 (Updated: 19:57 GMT 14.10.2021)
© AFP 2022 / JOSEPH EIDThis file photo taken on June 23, 2021, shows a view of a mesh of raised electricity lines along a street in a suburb of Lebanon's capital Beirut. - Lebanon was plunged into a total blackout today after two main power stations went offline because they ran out of fuel, the state electricity corporation said.
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland announced Thursday in Beirut an additional $67 million in new US support for the Lebanese army.
Speaking at a news conference, Nuland expressed solidarity on behalf of the American people for the tragic loss of life that erupted outside the Palace of Justice on Thursday before confirming their steadfast support for the Lebanese Army and Internal Security Forces.
Nuland said the US was working with Lebanese authorities alongside the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to ensure the country receives aid amid its deep economic and political crisis.
“In order to express our support for the aspirations of the Lebanese people for security, for economic stability and for transparent and accountable governance,” Nuland said.
“Terrorists and thieves have robbed them of hope for far too long. After years of suffering, all Lebanese deserve better… this money belongs to the Lebanese people and must be used for their benefit.”
Tensions spiked in Lebanon after gunfire killed at least one person in Beirut on Thursday as supporters of Hezbollah and its allies gathered in the Lebanese capital to demand the removal of the judge investigating last year's catastrophic Beirut port blast.
Hezbollah and its Shi'ite ally, the Amal movement, reportedly accused the Christian Lebanese Forces party of being behind the shootings.
Amid the pandemic, imported goods that were once commonplace have become scarce — from fuel to medical supplies. Iran has taken the lead in supplying fuel to Lebanon. Nuland declared the support offered by oil producing Iran as a "publicity stunt.”
Nuland concluded by mentioning that they are taking the necessary steps to work with traditional partners around the world who have invested in Lebanon, “who care about Lebanon” for support.