the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Statement by the President for Lebanon's Independence Day on November 22nd

On behalf of the American people, I offer my deepest congratulations to President Sleiman, Speaker Berri, Prime Minister Hariri, and all citizens of Lebanon on the occasion of Lebanon's Independence Day. This celebration comes at a particularly opportune time, in light of the challenges Lebanon currently faces. This important day exemplifies Lebanon's sovereignty, independence, and national and cultural identity. The United States is committed to strengthening these characteristics through support of Lebanon's state institutions and voices of peace and moderation.
 
We are grateful to the Government of Lebanon for its steadfast leadership under difficult circumstances. It has shown vision in its search for peace, stability, and consensus. We continue to support the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, which will end the era of political assassinations with impunity in Lebanon. Lebanon and its children need a future where they can fulfill their dreams free of fear and intimidation.
 
I am committed to doing everything I can to support Lebanon and ensure it remains free from foreign interference, terrorism, and war. Lebanon deserves peace and prosperity, and those who believe otherwise are no friend to Lebanon. I hope you will carry this message to your friends and family. Lebanon has fought enough fights. The only way ahead is for all Lebanese to work together, not against each other, for a sovereign and independent Lebanon that enjoys both justice and stability.
 
Lebanon's multi-ethnic democratic system ensures representation by all of Lebanon's different religious and ethnic backgrounds. This unique facet sets Lebanon apart and has allowed Lebanese citizens to flourish and build their country and the rich tapestry that is Lebanese society. It is much the same in our own country, where Lebanese-Americans have for generations contributed deeply to the American community, economy, and culture through their leadership in Congress, the business world, the U.S. military, and even in my cabinet. We salute Lebanon today for its greatest resource - its people - and wish all of Lebanon a happy Independence Day.