U.S. says financial support to Lebanon depends on reforms

U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale and U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea visit the site of a massive explosion at Beirut's port, Lebanon August 15, 2020. REUTERS/Nabil Mounzer/Pool

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon will only receive financial support when its leaders enact reforms, a senior U.S. official said on Saturday, urging them to finally respond to their people’s demands for good governance and to end corruption.

“When we see Lebanese leaders committed to real change, change in word and deed, America and its international partners will respond to systemic reforms with sustained financial support,” David Hale said at the end of a three-day visit to Beirut following a catastrophic chemicals explosion earlier this month.

Hale, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, also said the United States was ready to work with Congress to pledge up to $30 million in additional funds to enable the flow of grain through the Port of Beirut on an urgent, interim basis.

Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Alison Williams