Friday, November 10, 2017

Secretary-General's remarks at press stakeout [scroll down for Q & A] 10 November 2017

Question:  Thank you, Mr. Secretary-General. I want to ask about the rising tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia and especially about Lebanon and the situation in Lebanon and the fate of our... the Prime Minister there, Saad Hariri. Do you have anything to say about that?
Do you... are you going to use your good offices in order to reduce tensions in the region?
And when are you going to appoint your new Special Coordinator for Lebanon since the situation is very dangerous?
Secretary-General:  First of all, I've been in very intense contacts the day before yesterday and yesterday at the different levels, political level and diplomatic level, with namely Saudi Arabia and Lebanon but also with several other countries of the region or with an influence in the region.
This is a matter of great concern to us. And what we want is for peace to be preserved in Lebanon. It is essential that no new conflict erupts in the region, it could have devastating consequences.
And at the same time, it is important to preserve the unity, the stability of Lebanon, and the functioning of Lebanese institutions. That is the logic of the demarches I have been doing. They are delicate, you will allow me not to elaborate on them, they will go on today.
We are indeed very worried and we hope that we won't see an escalation in the region that would have tragic consequences.
Question: The replacement of Sigrid Kaag?
Secretary-General: We will be doing the replacement as quickly as possible.