David Schenker, the US State Department’s assistant secretary for near eastern affairs wondered on Tuesday if the Lebanese people will accept a government that looks much like the last government, in remarks seen by many as interference in the Lebanese internal affairs.
In a press conference on Tuesday, Schenker said that protests continue in Lebanon and Iraq, noting that “what is occurring in these countries is indigenous to these countries and reflects citizens’ strong desire to exercise their rights for peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.”
“These protests arose from popular discontent. People are fed up with economic stagnation, endemic corruption, and mismanagement,” he added.
“I saw the announcement today from Prime Minister Hariri that he’s not going to attempt to form a government now. I saw the reports about Amal and Hizballah on the news. Our position remains the same, that no party should be perpetrating violence against other parties, that we support what remains the legitimate demands of the Lebanese people to have a government that will reform economically and will fight corruption,” Schenker told reporters.
“we will see if the Lebanese people accept a government that looks much like the last government that they protested against, right, if it is a similar government, whether they will accept it. I think the Lebanese people have shown that they have – that they’re fed up and they want a new kind of government, but this is up to them entirely,” he added.