Statement by Deputy Press Secretary Speakes on the Presidential Election in Lebanon

August 23, 1982

The President has noted this morning the election of a new President in Lebanon, and he has sent a message of congratulations to the new President. We also congratulate the Lebanese Parliament in electing the new President through the traditional, constitutional processes during this difficult and trying time.

Lebanon's new leadership has a difficult task ahead. That task is to bring the country back together again. The promotion of genuine national reconciliation and reconstruction are crucial to the success of the new President.

The United States will continue to work closely with the Government of Lebanon on the complex and difficult task ahead. We believe that the election holds out the possibility to continue the process of strengthening the central government of Lebanon, and we are pleased that the process has moved forward.

Note: Deputy Press Secretary Larry M. Speakes made the statement during his regular briefing for reporters, which began at 10:08 a.m. at the Santa Barbara Sheraton Hotel in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Bashir Gemayel was elected by the Parliament as President of Lebanon on August 23.