U.S. Vice President Joe Biden reviews honour guards upon his arrival at the presidential palace in Baabda, near Beirut, May 22, 2009. Biden, carrying a message on military aid to Lebanon, arrived in Beirut on Friday, 16 days before a parliamentary election that may see a shift in power from a Western-backed coalition. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
BEIRUT, May 22 (Xinhua) -- Visiting U.S. Vice President Joe Biden Friday called for "fair, free and transparent" in the upcoming Lebanese general, LBC TV reported.
At a joint press conference with Lebanese President
Michel Suleiman after their meeting at the presidential palace, Biden said his
visit, which came ahead of the Lebanese parliamentary elections on June 7, is
not to support one group, but to support the country and the Lebanese people.
He said his country looks forward to the shape and
composition of the Lebanese government which is for the Lebanese to decide.
The U.S. vice president also said that "President
Obama's administration is committed to a comprehensive peace in the region that
benefits all people, including the Lebanese," adding that "Lebanese sovereignty
can not and will not be traded away."
He called for a "sovereign and democratic Lebanon to
be stronger than it is today," adding that Lebanon has "a measurable potential
to be the best democracy in the Middle East."
Biden said "I have every confidence that the country
is moving in the right direction."
The U.S. vice president arrived in Beirut on Friday
morning on the first such high-level visit to Lebanon in nearly three decades.
He is expected to stay about six hours.
However, local media reports said Friday that Biden's
visit comes as a show of support to the ruling majority in the upcoming