US marks 25th anniversary of Beirut embassy bombing

Go down

US marks 25th anniversary of Beirut embassy bombing

Post by Admin on Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:07 am

The
US embassy in Lebanon commemorated the 25th anniversary Friday of the
bombing of the diplomatic mission in Beirut in which 52 people were
killed.


Charge
d'affaires Michele Sison welcomed survivors and family members of the
victims at an embassy ceremony also attended by Assistant Secretary of
State for Near East Affairs David Welch.


Welch,
who was a desk officer for Lebanon at the State Department at the time
of the attack on April 18, 1983, recalled his horror on learning of the
bombing, at the time the deadliest ever on a US diplomatic mission.


"That
attack was followed by a lot of other heartbreak," he said. "There was
the attack against the marine barracks later that year in October,
quickly followed by the attack on our embassy annexe in 1984.


"And the attacks continued."

The latest attack against a US target in Lebanon was a car bombing in January that left two embassy staff injured.

Welch
reiterated Washington's support for the embattled Lebanese government,
which has been locked in a long-running standoff with the Hezbollah-led
opposition that has left the country without a president since November.


"Some
may question our dedication, and assert that the United States
'withdrew' after the attacks in 1983," he said. "I've been working on
Lebanon since then, and I know better.


"We may have moved, but we didn't leave."

In
comments on Thursday, US President George W. Bush recalled the attack
by the Islamic Jihad Organization, which US officials have said was a
forerunner of Hezbollah, the Iranian- and Syrian-backed Shiite militia
which fought a devastating 2006 war with Israel.


"Since
the Beirut attack, we and citizens of many countries have suffered more
attacks at the hands of Hezbollah and other terrorists, backed by the
regimes in Tehran and Damascus, which use terror and violence against
innocent civilians," Bush said.


Welch,
who arrived to Lebanon Thursday, has been meeting with rival leaders
during his stay in a bid to help break the stalemate between the pro-
and anti-Syrian camps.


Parliament
is due to convene on Tuesday for an 18th attempt to elect a successor
to pro-Syrian president Emile Lahoud who stood down at the end of his
term but all indicators are that the session will again be postponed.

The
political crisis, the worst since the 1975-1990 civil war, is widely
seen as an extension of the confrontation pitting the United States and
its regional ally Saudi Arabia against Syria and Iran.


Picture:
U.S. charge d'affaire Michele Sison (R) and the Assistant Secretary of
State David Welsh (2nd L) stand in honor at the US Embassy in Awkar
area, north of Beirut, April 18, 2008, during a ceremony to commemorate
the 25th anniversary of the April 18, 1983 bombing of the U.S. Embassy
in Beirut.REUTERS/Emile Dalal (LEBANON)


_________________
avatar
Admin
Admin
Admin

Male
Number of posts : 580
Age : 37
Registration date : 2008-03-03

View user profile http://leb-spy.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum