Rome

15 March 2018

Secretary-General’s press encounter at Ministerial Meeting of the International Support Group for Lebanon

Today the wider the Middle East is in a mess. The clear symbol of that mess is the endless and bloody conflict in Syria and the dramatic suffering of the Syrian people, but in this mess there is a positive exception. That exception is the wisdom and the capacity revealed by the leaders of Lebanon to be able to preserve the stability and the unity of a country against all odds, against a massive influx of refugees with the dramatic impact in the economy, in the society, against security threats coming from the conflict next door in Syria.

This is the moment in which the international community needs to express its full commitment and its full support to the unity and stability in Lebanon but also to Lebanese sovereignty and territorial integrity knowing that Lebanon is today, one of the very few pillars of stability and peace in the region and it is absolutely crucial to preserve. And let’s be clear, this is not a question of solidarity. This is for the international community a question of enlightened self-interest to support Lebanon. To support the Lebanese unity and stability is to support the stability in the whole region and to contribute to diminish the dramatic stress in relation to peace that we are facing today in the world.

Thank you.