Thursday, March 28, 2019

Kubis Says 'Everyone Cares about Lebanon Stability', Even Israel

U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Jan Kubis has reassured that all countries care about the stability of Lebanon.

"I am very glad that in my new capacity as the Special Coordinator for Lebanon, I had the opportunity to brief the Security Council about my activities but notably about the country, about Lebanon. I spoke about opportunities and some risks as well," Kubis said at the media stakeout after Security Council consultations at the U.N. headquarters in New York.

"I mentioned also certain risks, first again economy. Economic, social issues, it is obvious from my meetings in the past six weeks that this is very high in the agenda of the government . Hopefully soon the Government will adopt the budget and the budget that hopefully will send a very strong signal that it is a reform budget," Kubis added.

Noting that there is "a national consensus even, political consensus among the major political parties, in favor of return of Syrian refugees back home," the U.N. official said "there is another big discussion about how to do it, if there is room to do it, how to cooperate and there is another topic about how to shape relations between Lebanon and Syria as such."

Responding to a question on whether returning refugees might face security risks in Syria, Kubis emphasized upon "the principles of safe, voluntary and dignified return."

"You cannot expect from the U.N., any side or any part of the U.N., to do and think in any other different way," he stressed.

As for the impact of the tense regional circumstances on Lebanon in light of the situation in Gaza and the U.S. recognition of the Golan as Israel's territory, Kubis said: "I would say that by and large, there is a strong interest, and it is my assumption and assessment, not to go too far in destabilizing the situation."

"Everyone cares about stability of Lebanon, including the regional countries. This is what I heard also in Israel. So from that perspective, I am of course following this with certain concern, but I don't think we should expect any total instability," he reassured.

Source Naharnet