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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
August 27, 2004

Statement by the Press Secretary

The United States believes in a democratic future for the Middle East, and a future for Lebanon that is independent, fully sovereign, and free of all foreign forces.

The United States believes strongly that the best interests of both Lebanon and Syria are served by a positive and constructive relationship, based upon principles of mutual respect and non-intervention, between two neighboring sovereign and independent states. This includes respect for the freedom of the Lebanese people to decide the fate of their nation and its leadership, without pressure or interference from any outside party. We note the recent statements by senior religious, political, and civil society leaders in Lebanon calling for respect of the Lebanese constitution.

The United States looks forward to elections in Lebanon that respect Lebanese institutions, including Lebanon's existing constitution, and that are free of any foreign interference.

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