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Rice Remarks With Maronite Patriarch of Lebanon

Remarks With Maronite Patriarch of Lebanon Nasrallah Sfeir Before Their Meeting

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Washington, DC
July 18, 2006


SECRETARY RICE: I am so very pleased that you could join me and I am, of course, very concerned about the events in Lebanon. I'm very concerned about the people of Lebanon, about Lebanon's freedom and democracy and a Lebanon where all Lebanese can prosper. And we are, of course, working very hard to make certain that Lebanon retains its sovereignty. We're working very hard to try and minimize the impact of the current conflict on the Lebanese people. And I want you to know that we're not only working hard, but we're also praying for the people of Lebanon.

MARONITE PATRIARCH SFEIR: Thank you. Thank you for the action you have taken in favor of this small country but there are many difficulties. The world says the Resolution 1559 will it be applied.

SECRETARY RICE: Yes.

MARONITE PATRIARCH SFEIR: But it is not up to the Lebanese Government to apply it. It is so weak to do so. There is another way to apply this, but I do not know how. But our interest is that all the citizens will be equal (inaudible). When some are having arms and the others have not there is no equality and I've said this a long time that -- how to apply this I don't know. (Inaudible) perhaps, some other -- some pressure to (inaudible).

SECRETARY RICE: Yes. Well, the international community has to help you.

MARONITE PATRIARCH SFEIR: Exactly. Exactly.

SECRETARY RICE: I mean that's it, the international community must insist on the enforcement of 1559 which we, the international community, passed. And so we will work.

MARONITE PATRIARCH SFEIR: There's a better way.

SECRETARY RICE: Yes, we will work.

MARONITE PATRIARCH SFEIR: Thank you.

2006/694

Released on July 18, 2006

ENDS


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