Technorati Tags: Secretary Condoleezza Rice and Lebanon or State Department and Secretary of State, or President Bush and Cyprus, or U.S. Embassy, and Saad HARIRI, or Lebanese, and Syria,
U.S. Embassy Information for American Citizens in Lebanon, July 15, 2006
The U.S. Department of State continues to work with the U.S. Department of Defense on a plan to help American citizens depart Lebanon. As of the morning of July 15, we are looking at how we might transport Americans to Cyprus. Once in Cyprus, Americans can then board commercial aircraft for onward travel. Commercial airlines provide the safest and most efficient repatriation options to final destinations.
The Department of State reminds American citizens that the U.S. government does not provide no-cost transportation but does have the authority to provide repatriation loans to those in financial need. For the portion of the trip directly handled by the U.S. Government, Americans will be asked to sign a promissory note and will be billed at a later date.
The U.S. Embassy will release additional information as it becomes available to include specific details about the transportation arrangements and the costs travelers will incur. We will also work with commercial aircraft to ensure adequate flights are available to help Americans depart Cyprus and connect to their final destination.
The Department of State continues to work around the clock to ensure the safety and well-being of its citizens. The U.S. Embassy encourages Americans to register with the U.S. Embassy, preferably on line at lebanon.usembassy.gov or by fax at +961 4 544 209 or +961 4 544 037. The U.S. Embassy reaffirms the firm, enduring and non-negotiable commitment of the United States to Lebanon and the Lebanese people.
For U.S. Citizens Seeking Assistance in Lebanon, The U.S. Department of State is working on options to facilitate the departure of private
U.S. citizens who wish to depart and require assistance. U.S. citizens are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy online at lebanon.usembassy.gov/ or by fax at +961 4 544 209 or +961 4 544 037.
Those who require emergency services may contact the Embassy by telephone at (961-4) 542-600, 543-600, and fax 544-209. The U.S. Department of State reaffirms the firm, enduring and non-negotiable commitment of the United States to Lebanon and the Lebanese people
Since the end of the war, the Lebanese have conducted several successful elections, most of the militias have been weakened or disbanded, and the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) have extended central government authority over about two-thirds of the country. Hizballah, a radical Shi'a organization listed by the US State Department as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, retains its weapons. During Lebanon's civil war, the Arab League legitimized in the Ta'if Accord Syria's troop deployment, numbering about 16,000 based mainly east of Beirut and in the Bekaa Valley.
Damascus justified its continued military presence in Lebanon by citing Beirut's requests and the failure of the Lebanese Government to implement all of the constitutional reforms in the Ta'if Accord. Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon in May 2000, however, encouraged some Lebanese groups to demand that Syria withdraw its forces as well. The passage of UNSCR 1559 in early October 2004 - a resolution calling for Syria to withdraw from Lebanon and end its interference in Lebanese affairs - further emboldened Lebanese groups opposed to Syria's presence in Lebanon.
The assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq HARIRI and 20 others in February 2005 led to massive demonstrations in Beirut against the Syrian presence ("the Cedar Revolution"). Syria finally withdrew the remainder of its military forces from Lebanon in April 2005. In May-June 2005, Lebanon held its first legislative elections since the end of the civil war free of foreign interference, handing a two-thirds majority to the bloc led by Saad HARIRI, the slain prime minister's son. CIA FACTBOOK.
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