Secretary-General's remarks to the press following his meeting with Speaker Nabih Berri
Beirut, Lebanon, 30 March 2007Good morning ladies and gentlemen.
I'm very pleased to see all of you. In fact, I'm very impressed by the big turnout of press here. I know that that reflects the interest and attention on my visit to Lebanon.
I had a very good meeting with [Parliament] Speaker Nabih Berri. I was very pleased to meet with him and exchange views on the current situation and what the United Nations can contribute to the ongoing efforts of Lebanese people and government.
I express, taking this opportunity, my deep admiration to the people and government of Lebanon to for their tireless and noble efforts to make this country more secure and sound and prosperous.
I saluted Speaker Berri for his role in initiating the national dialogue and then the table of consultations in Lebanon last year. I very much encouraged him and leaders of Lebanon to continue his more recent dialogue, particularly their recent dialogue between Speaker Berri and Mr. Hariri because dialogue is the only way for Lebanon to achieve the stability and national unity it aspires for.
We also discussed Security Council Resolution 1701 and I raised the importance of the full implementation of that resolution including the establishment of a special Tribunal. We agreed on the importance of UNIFIL and the excellent cooperation maintained so far with the Lebanese Armed Forces and the people of south Lebanon. I welcomed in particular the important role that Speaker Berri himself has played in improving that cooperation.
I also discussed with the Speaker the issue of the special Tribunal of an international character and emphasized my commitment to the establishment of that tribunal for Lebanon as soon as possible. I welcome Lebanese national consensus on the tribunal but stress the importance of moving forward on this issue. I urged the parties to find a quick solution to this issue while respecting Lebanon's constitutional procedures.
This is what I wanted to say as a result of my meeting with Speaker Berri.
I once again, urge leaders of Lebanon to engage in dialogue for the purpose of promoting national reconciliation. I know that you are going through a very difficult process for national reconstruction. The international community, the United Nations, and I, as Secretary-General will always be fully supportive of such efforts and I need also to see some improvements in that regard and I wish all the good success and happiness.
Thank you very much.
Off-the-Cuff on 30 March 2007