Statement by National Security Council Spokesman Mike Hammer on the Travel of General Jones in the Middle East

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National Security Advisor Jim Jones concluded a week-long visit to the Middle East in Lebanon today.  Throughout his trip, General Jones discussed the full range of regional challenges and opportunities at this critical time in the Middle East.   

While in Lebanon, General Jones met with President Michel Sleiman, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, and Prime Minister Saad Hariri.  During his meetings, General Jones expressed support for strengthening Lebanon’s state institutions, particularly the Lebanese Armed Forces, and for its missions to implement all UN Security Council resolutions relevant to Lebanon and protect all Lebanese citizens.   He reiterated the President’s commitment to strengthening the partnership between the United States and Lebanon across a broad range of issues.  

The National Security Advisor reiterated the United States’ continued support for a sovereign and independent Lebanon and stressed that our efforts to achieve our goals in the Middle East, especially a comprehensive regional peace, will not come at Lebanon’s expense.

General Jones concluded his visit at the U.S. Embassy where he greeted Embassy staff and retired personnel.   The National Security Advisor, who served as the 32nd Commandant of the United States Marine Corps, conveyed the President’s appreciation for the employees’ service and dedication.  General Jones also honored those who sacrificed their lives, laying a wreath at the Embassy’s memorial where the names of the 337 people killed in service to the United States government in Lebanon between 1976 and 1995 - including the victims of the 1983 and 1984 Embassy and Marine Barracks bombings -  are etched on a stone monument.