U.S. stands by Lebanon on attack anniversary

Oct. 23, 2013 at 12:40 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- The United States remains committed to promoting stability in Lebanon, 30 years after more than 200 Marines were killed in a Hezbollah attack, President Barack Obama said Wednesday.

In a statement issued by the White House on the 30th anniversary of the attack on a Marine barracks in Beirut, the president paid tribute to the Marines, and 21 other service members who were killed in the attack. A second attack on a French barracks left 58 French paratroopers dead.

"We also renew our commitment to promoting Lebanon's stability, sovereignty, and independence and to our partnership with the Lebanese armed forces," he said.

U.S. financial support accounts for approximately 75 percent of all international security assistance to Lebanon. A 2013 U.S. budget allocates $8.7 million in assistance to support Lebanon's efforts to protect its borders.

Lebanon's national security is in jeopardy from civil war raging in neighboring Syria. Several bomb attacks inside Lebanon were described by security officials there as a response to Hezbollah's role in Syria's conflict.

The United States lists Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. Hezbollah's political arm holds high-level positions in the Lebanese government.

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