Today marks the seventh anniversary of Lebanon’s Cedar Revolution, when the Lebanese people took to the streets en masse in a peaceful demonstration to demand a sovereign and democratic country, free from foreign interference, and to call for the truth behind the assassination of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. In 2005, long before the inspiring and dramatic events of the past year, the people of Lebanon shattered the myth that the only way to produce change in the region is through violence and conflict. The United States salutes the brave and proud Lebanese who peacefully took to the streets in 2005 to demand a better future for themselves and their homeland.
Without a doubt, challenges remain for the people of Lebanon. Foreign-backed groups seek to turn back the clock. The brutal violence unleashed by the Assad regime against its own people risks destabilizing the region, including Lebanon. We support Lebanon’s political leaders’ efforts to maintain security and to prepare for the day when a democratic government in Damascus will usher in a new era in Lebanese-Syrian relations. We will continue to stand with and support the people of Lebanon and all those across the region as they work for democratic governments that will fulfill their aspirations and respect their rights.