U.S. says supports right of Lebanese to peaceful protest, urges political reforms

FILE PHOTO: Tear gas is fired by police towards demonstrators during a protest following Tuesday's blast, in Beirut, Lebanon August 8, 2020. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

BEIRUT (Reuters) - The U.S. government supports Lebanese demonstrators’ right to peaceful protest and urges all involved to refrain from violence, the U.S. Embassy in Beirut said on Saturday.

The embassy also said in a tweet that the Lebanese people “deserved leaders who listen to them and change course to respond to popular demands for transparency and accountability”.

Demonstrations swept central Beirut calling for the downfall of the government and the political establishment in the wake of Tuesday’s catastrophic explosion that destroyed parts of the city.

Reporting by Samar Hassan in Cairo, Writing by Suleiman Al-Khalidi, Editing by Angus MacSwan