The statement welcomed the election of President Michel Suleiman on 25 May and the nomination of Fouad Siniora as Prime Minister on 28 May.

It comes in the wake of criticism from some US politicians of talks France has held with Damascus. The critics blame the Syrian regime for the long-running political instability in Lebanon.

The joint statement from Washington and Paris also touched on the ongoing tension between Lebanon and Syria, and called for the start of talks between the two countries at the earliest opportunity.

“In the interest of good neighbourliness we wish to see between Syria and Lebanon based upon respect, equality, security and sovereignty, we consider important the early establishment of full diplomatic relations between them,” said the statement on 14 June.

It also backed the efforts of Qatar and the Arab League to resolve Lebanon’s political crisis through the recent Doha Agreement.