The White House

Office of the Press Secretary


For Immediate Release

September 24, 2013 

Remarks by President Obama and President Sleiman of Lebanon before Bilateral Meeting

Conference Building
United Nations

11:42 A.M. EDT

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  It’s a great pleasure to have the time to meet with President Sleiman of Lebanon.  He has shown extraordinary leadership through a very challenging period for not only Lebanon, but also for the region.  I appreciate his courage and determination to maintain Lebanon’s unity and stability, and he has the full support of the United States in his efforts to uphold Lebanon’s sovereignty and independence.

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PRESIDENT SLEIMAN:  (As translated.)

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Of course, we have to talk about the ongoing negotiations under U.S. patronage between the Palestinians and the Israelis about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.  We hope that these negotiations will be a step towards comprehensive negotiations aiming at reaching a just and comprehensive solution for the Middle East according to the terms of reference of the Madrid Conference, the international resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.  Of course, these negotiations, they affect the neighboring countries, and especially Lebanon, which have a pending fight in this context that relates to the settlement of the Palestinian refugees.  Lebanon cannot accept the settlement of these refugees on its territory, according to the Arab Peace Initiative.

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