Obama says ‘impressed’ by Lebanon’s resilience

November 24, 2015 (REFERRING TO THE NATIONAL NEWS AGENCY – LEBANON) U.S. President Barack Obama has said he is “impressed” by the ability of Lebanese to respond to the many problems their country faces, and expressed condolences over the recent attack in Beirut.

In a letter sent to Prime Minister Tammam Salam to congratulate him over Lebanon’s independence anniversary, Obama also renewed his call for the country to elect a president.

“I am continually impressed by the Lebanese people’s ability to overcome the challenges and adversity they face,” Obama said in the letter, which was posted to the U.S. embassy website Tuesday.

Obama described the double suicide blasts carried out by ISIS against a southern Beirut suburb earlier this month as “horrific”.

“I wish to extend my deepest condolences to you (Salam) and the Lebanese people for the bombings,” he said, adding that Washington stood by Lebanon’s security forces.

He also expressed dissapointment that the country has been unable to elect a new head of state.

“It is with regret that I note this is the second consecutive National Independence Day without an elected President of the Lebanese Republic,” Obama said.

“For the sake of Lebanon’s stability and security, now is the time for Lebanese leaders to act in the national interest and elect a president.”