Lebanon without president concerns UNSC

NEW YORK, March 17 (KUNA) — With over 21-month vacancy in the presidency of Lebanon, the UN Security Council on Thursday reaffirmed deep concern about the current political stalemate in government which seriously impairs Lebanon’s ability to address the security, economic, social and humanitarian challenges.
The members of the Council called, in a press statement, on all Lebanese leaders to adhere to Lebanon’s Constitution and to the Taif Agreement and National Pact, to put Lebanon’s stability and national interests ahead of partisan politics.
They urged all parties to facilitate the functioning of state institutions and delivery of public services, and expressed concern at the Parliament’s inability to elect a President following “a lack of quorum.” They also reaffirmed their call on all Lebanese leaders to act responsibly and with leadership and flexibility to urgently convene a parliamentary session and proceed to the election of a President.
The Council commended the Government of Lebanon for setting the dates for local elections and further called on the Lebanese authorities to hold them within the set calendar.
The statement noted that the Council reiterated their strong support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon. They underscored the crucial role played by the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and security forces in extending and sustaining the authority of the State and supporting the country’s stability.
The members of the Council reiterated in this regard their call for the continuation of international support for the Lebanese Armed Forces through additional and expedited assistance in areas where the Lebanese Armed Forces are most critically in need of support, including counter-terrorism and border protection.
They also expressed their continuing concern at the negative impact of the Syrian crisis on Lebanon’s stability and the immediate threat to its security. Therefore, the members of the Council noted with deep concern all border violations, including the presence of terrorist and violent extremist groups in Lebanese territory, the deepening involvement of some Lebanese parties in the fighting in Syria and the risks this poses for Lebanon’s stability and for the Lebanese people.
On Wednesday the UN Secretary General’s Special Coordinator for Lebanon Sigrid Kaag briefed the Council on the implementation of United Nations Security Council resolution 1701, adopted in 2006. (end) mao.gb