Statement by the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon and the Heads of Mission of the Permanent Members of the Security Council, Italy and Germany after meeting Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros el-Rahi [EN/AR]

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Bkerke, Lebanon
Thursday, 16 April 2015

I would like to thank His Beatitude the Patriarch, Bechara Boutros el-Rahi, for inviting us to meet with him today. The Patriarch underlined to us his grave concern about the protracted vacancy in the office of the Presidency soon marking a one-year vacuum.

We shared this concern, specifically that the eleven-month stalemate in the election of the President of the Republic is undermining Lebanon's ability to address the security, economic and social challenges it faces and has jeopardized the normal functioning of Lebanese institutions.

We committed to sending a strong message to Lebanese leaders to adhere to Lebanon's Constitution, including the Taef Agreement and National Pact, and to call on all parties to act responsibly and put Lebanon's stability and national interests ahead of partisan politics and to show the necessary flexibility and sense of urgency to apply mechanisms provided for by the Lebanese Constitution with regard to the election. In this context, members of Parliament should uphold Lebanon's longstanding democratic tradition and convene to elect a President without further delay.

We call on all parties in Lebanon to enable the Government and Parliament to function effectively