The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Amr Abdellatif Aboulatta (Egypt):
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their strong support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon.
The members of the Security Council underscored their deepest concern over the two-year-long vacancy in the presidency of Lebanon since the expiration of the mandate of former President Michel Sleiman on 24 May 2014. The members of the Security Council underlined in the strongest possible terms their concern over this prolonged vacancy, which has led to blockages in the Council of Ministers, and rendered the Parliament incapable of passing critical legislation. The members of the Security Council noted the vacancy and the resulting political paralysis seriously impair Lebanon’s ability to address the growing security, economic, social and humanitarian challenges facing the country.
The members of the Security Council expressed deep concern at Parliament’s repeated inability to form a quorum and elect a President, and they reaffirmed their call on all Lebanese leaders to act responsibly and with leadership and flexibility to convene urgently a parliamentary session and proceed to the election of a President. The members of the Security Council called on all Lebanese leaders to adhere to Lebanon's Constitution and to the Taif Agreement and National Pact and to put Lebanon's stability and national interests ahead of partisan politics. The members of the Security Council urged all parties to facilitate the functioning of State institutions and delivery of public services. The members of the Security Council further encouraged all parties to engage in negotiating a compromise agreement with the aim of ending the political and institutional crisis in Lebanon.
The members of the Security Council commended the Government of Lebanon for the timely holding of local elections and further encouraged the Lebanese authorities to move ahead within the set calendar for the next legislative elections.
The members of the Security Council expressed their appreciation for the International Support Group for Lebanon and urged the Group to continue its work in coordination with the Special Coordinator to seek opportunities to help address rising challenges to Lebanon’s security and stability. They welcomed in this regard the proposal made by the President of France on 16 April 2016 in Beirut, Lebanon, to organize a ministerial meeting of the International Support Group for Lebanon.
The members of the Security Council underscored their call on all Lebanese parties to recommit to Lebanon’s policy of dissociation and to cease any involvement in the Syrian crisis, consistent with their commitment in the ministerial declaration of the current Government and in the Baabda Declaration of 12 June 2012. They further called on all regional partners to prevent the spill-over of regional crises into Lebanon and for the international community to support Lebanon’s political and economic stability, including through the continued provision of assistance.
The members of the Security Council expressed their intention to continue following the developments in the presidential vacancy with a particular sense of urgency.