| 5 December 2023, Tuesday |

Has U.S. administration extended its ambassador’s duties in Beirut?

Diplomatic sources noted that the U.S. Ambassador to Beirut, Dorothy Shea, continues to perform her duties and has not yet transitioned to her new role as Deputy Head of Mission to the United Nations in New York, despite her appointment to this position over seven months ago.

However, well-informed Western diplomatic sources have clarified to “Sawt Beirut International” that the U.S. administration has extended Ambassador Shea’s work period for a limited time while internal procedures, particularly within Congress, are being completed to allow her to assume her new role officially. Ambassador Shea continues to carry out her duties in Lebanon as usual in accordance with her country’s policies towards the country.

The sources have also pointed out that the new U.S. Ambassador to Beirut, Liz Johnson, has not yet received a congressional vote for her appointment and acceptance of her credentials, even after Congress had heard from her. This also applies to the Ambassador in Beirut, who was appointed as Deputy Head of Mission to the United Nations in New York. The House Foreign Affairs Committee is supposed to decide when this matter will be put to a vote. However, this date remains unclear at this time. There has also been no appointment of a chargé d’affaires for the U.S. Embassy in Beirut yet, despite a tendency to appoint Amanda Beals, the Consul General in Adana, Turkey, to this position.
In any case, the U.S. administration doesn’t seem overly concerned with expediting the arrival of the new ambassador to Lebanon as long as there is no President in Lebanon. In the absence of a President, any ambassador serves as a Charge d’Affaires until they present their credentials to the President. Many new Arab and foreign ambassadors in Beirut have arrived and assumed their positions, but they haven’t presented their credentials yet, and they are considered Charges d’Affaires.

The American Ambassador continues her service and executes her administration’s directives regarding Washington’s policy in Lebanon, as follows:

Any progress in U.S.-Iranian negotiations will have an impact on the Lebanese presidential election. Any serving ambassador will work to crystallize Washington’s stance on this new development through the ideas they propose. Meanwhile, Washington’s policy will remain relatively unchanged. All eyes are now on the post-U.S.-Iran deal phase that was reached two days ago.

There is a specific American interest in stabilizing the situation, especially in the south, as it facilitates oil and gas exploration, reduces tensions between Lebanon and Israel, and potentially leads to the implementation of the issue of the re-demarcation of the originally recognized land borders. Lebanon seeks to settle the 13 points along the Blue Line to align with internationally recognized borders and includes the Shebaa Farms, Kfarshouba Hills, and the northern part of Ghajar.

Renewed respect for the Lebanese Armed Forces and the military institution for their role in maintaining stability, countering terrorism, and cooperating with UNIFIL in the south.

  • Sawt Beirut International