John Kerry Meets with Lebanese Leaders Over Syrian Civil War

Secretary of state called on "those nations directly supporting the Assad regime ... to engage in a legitimate effort to bring this war to an end."
11:05 | 06/04/14

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Transcript for John Kerry Meets with Lebanese Leaders Over Syrian Civil War
This is a special group. We're good secretary of state John Kerry is in Beirut Lebanon today meeting with the nation's leaders about the impact of the ongoing civil war. In neighboring Syria Michelle Franzen in New York. Secretary -- first visits eleven on he's trying to bring some some stability to the region. And is expected to pledge additional aid for refugee crisis let's listen -- -- carries. But -- this is the first time nevertheless that I've been able to be here as secretary of state he. -- told prime minister earlier. Somehow we have to arrange the problems of the world and the region so that we can -- more time. Lebanon is obviously. A much more than the beautiful country which it is it's a very important country. And it's very important to the security. Of the region. And beyond. And I think everybody knows that the United States of America is deeply committed. To Lebanon security. To its stability. To its sovereignty. And to supporting the Lebanese people during this difficult period. We all know that the consequences. Of the civil war in Syria. Reach well beyond Syria's borders. And Lebanon is feeling those consequences as much as any other country or community. Nowhere in fact has the international. Impact. What is happening in Syria have been felt more in many ways than what is happening here. And that particularly includes the 1600. Cities towns and villages across Lebanon. That are now hosting refugees. Of all ages. I have personally had the opportunity to meet with the some of those refugees the Syrian refugees who are now in the Jordan camps. And when I was there. It was impossible for me not to feel the incredible frustration. And anger and loss that those refugees felt. If it isn't enough that they don't see. Their life situation changing. What they also don't see is they don't see the war ending. And so for them life is difficult it's -- every day. I'm very proud that the United States of America. -- is leading the charge in responding to this moral and the security imperative. And today I am pleased to announce on behalf of the American people. And about half President Obama up another 290. Million dollars in humanitarian assistance. For those affected by the conflict both inside Syria and the communities. Throughout the region where they have taken refuge. With the newest contribution. That -- announced today. The United States has now committed more than two billion dollars. To support refugees. And the nations. That have opened their doors to them. Let me be clear. There is still -- enormous. Need on the ground. That is not being met. And I'm not gonna stand -- pretend that the two billion nor the money we're giving today is enough. Also for those refugees. Just being supported in -- refugee camp is not enough that doesn't change their lives it doesn't end the war it doesn't speak to there. Day today. Sense of loss and abandonment. And it certainly doesn't provide them with the long term security and opportunity that they deserve. So all of us all nations have a responsibility to try to end this conflict. And I particularly. Call on. Those nations directly supporting. The Assad regime. In. What has become a grotesque display. Of modern warfare by -- state against its own people. I call on them. Iran. Russia. And I call on his vote based right here in Lebanon. To engage in legitimate effort to bring this war to a net. Also call on the international donors. Who have made pledges. To deliver on those pledges. It is important now critically important to support Lebanon. And to support others in the region who are suffering the consequences. Of this humanitarian crisis. As everybody knows who. Who who who lives here and -- some -- -- Lebanon is different in the way that. These refugees are being absorbed because the -- not specific camps. That is provided its own -- Its own form of domestic. Challenge. And the fact is that there -- spread throughout those sixty -- hundred communities that I talked about. That puts a burden on communities puts a burden on schools to burden on infrastructure. And so it's important for all of us to recognize the human catastrophe. That is unfolding. Before our eyes and that is why we in the United States have worked so hard to try to push for. A political solution which is the only real solution. To this conflict. A large portion of the assistance that I just announced today 51 million dollars. We'll go directly to refugees in Lebanon. And the communities. That I just mentioned that post them here. This combined with the assistance that we authority announced. Brings to about 400 billion dollars. That the United States. Has have supported. Just to deal with the refugee situation. Here about the -- Did devastating. Events in Syria. Have obviously. -- gone on for far too long. And I'm proud that we have stood by the people of -- -- on the Lebanese people from day one. We will continue to support people eleven want to make it clear. In my conversation today prime minister salaam -- made it clear. That President Obama. Is deeply committed to continuing to support Lebanon continuing to support. The security. Initiatives. And we will continue to remain engaged in our efforts -- to try to find a way to move forward. Lebanon security. For years. Has been of Paramount. Concern. To the United States. And that is why I have to say. That the current political stalemate here eleven is deeply troubling. It's unfortunate that the parliament did not elect the president on schedule. As the Lebanese constitution. Requires. And now. It is far more important. For the vacancy to be -- of that the people of Lebanon. Can reap the benefits. Of a fully constituted fully empowered. Government. That is important for Lebanon it's also important for the region it's important for those who support Lebanon. And -- we need. A government that is free from -- -- influence. With -- fully empowered president. Am with the president and the parliament. Responding directly to the people and to the needs of the people of Lebanon. Earlier today. I reiterated my support to president does the meeting we just had. And I reiterated president Obama's support. For the stewardship. Of the Lebanese government by prime minister -- and his cabinet. And I thanked the prime minister for the principles that we share and for his commitment to those principles. This is not a time for business as usual. The challenges are just too significant. And the challenges are all interconnected. Lebanon needs in Lebanon deserves to have -- fully -- fully functioning. Complete government. And we hope the Lebanese parliament will select a president. A quickly. In the meantime I -- assure the prime minister that the United States will remain strong and reliable partner. And we will continue to support Lebanon. And its institutions. That -- clues. Support that is aimed at building the capacity of the Lebanese Armed Forces. And the internal security forces. In order to help them be able to secure -- Lebanon's borders. To be able to handle the refugee flows. And to be able to calm the tensions. And combat. Terrorism. In fact we are seeking right now to increase. Our assistance. But to those institutions. So the bottom line is this bottom line is that is secure -- And stable Lebanon as a prerequisite for a secure. And stable region. And the United States will continue to work closely with our partners -- -- In order to protect. Against any of those who seek a different goal thank you very much. Do you have been watching secretary of state John Kerry speaking and eleven on his visit there today urging Lebanon to finalize its elections and also pledging. New humanitarian. Aid to Lebanon and the region taking care of the Syrian. Refugees that are flooding that area in the region an estimated one to one and a half million of registered and unregistered refugees. In that region alone in -- on this has been an ABC news digital special report you can keep up with this story in real time by downloading the ABC news -- And starring the story for exclusive updates on the go for now I'm Michelle Franzen in New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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