Thursday, September 19, 2013

UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Derek Plumbly Statement following Meeting with Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati

Office of the Special Coordinator for Lebanon
Bureau du Coordinateur Sp├ęcial
pour le Liban
(Delivered in Arabic)
Beirut, Lebanon
Friday, 13 September 2013
I just had a very good meeting with caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati.
I told the Prime Minister that the international community remains united in its support for Lebanon's security and stability during this period. Our talks focused on the preparations for the inaugural meeting of the International Support Group which will be convened by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and which is scheduled to take place in New York on 25 September in the margins of the UN General Assembly. The meeting will focus on support for stability in Lebanon against the backdrop of the Syrian crisis, and three priority areas for international assistance: to refugees and vulnerable communities, structural and financial support to the Government of Lebanon; and support to the Lebanese Armed Forces.
We also discussed the situation in Lebanon and the region. Obviously we greatly welcome the present diplomatic opening, but the situation remains serious, still further emphasizing, if that were possible, the importance of Lebanon's policy of dissociation and the principles of the Baabda Declaration.
Finally, we discussed the need for the formation of a capable government as soon as possible in order to have an effective partner in all the areas of cooperation that I have mentioned between Lebanon and the United Nations.
QUESTION: Mr. Plumbly, are you optimistic about the possibility of a political or diplomatic solution in Syria?
Special Coordinator Derek Plumbly: (UN and Arab League Joint Special Representative) Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi is currently present in Geneva and his focus obviously is on this issue in particular. The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has repeatedly stressed the need to make progress at the political level. In Geneva, the discussions are on a specific issue between Russia and the United States but obviously the issue is in the background.