Caretaker Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, on Tuesday met with the United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres, at the General Secretariat headquarters in New York.
During the meeting, Guterres underscored the continued commitment of the United Nations to supporting the Lebanese people.
The Secretary-General expressed appreciation for Lebanon’s generosity in hosting refugees, and stressed that he will work with donor countries to increase support for the underprivileged families in Lebanon and to resolve the refugee crisis.
Premier Mikati, in turn, thanked the United Nations “for its support for Lebanon at all levels,” and thanked Guterres “for his support of the Lebanese position during the process of renewing UNIFIL’s mandate.”
Mikati reiterated “Lebanon’s commitment to international resolutions,” and called on “the United Nations to support Lebanon to stop Israeli violations of its sovereignty.”
The PM also expressed Lebanon’s concern about the increasing number of displaced Syrians, and its inability to bear any further, especially in light of the severe economic and financial crisis it is enduring.
Mikati, on Monday kicked off his official meetings in New York, where he had an audience with U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, Victoria Nuland, in presence of Caretaker Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants, Abdullah Bou Habib, and US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Ethan Goldrich.
The meeting reportedly focused on Lebanese-American relations and the multiple issues currently facing Lebanon.
For his part, Mikati called on “the international community to support Lebanon addressing the expanding Syrian displacement crisis, which poses a great threat to Lebanon and its social fabric.”
“The government has completed the reform projects required by the International Monetary Fund, and the file is now in the custody of the House of Parliament to decide what it deems appropriate,” Mikati added.
In turn, the US official called on the Lebanese political parties to expedite the election of a new president of the republic, stressing that “Washington supports any inter-Lebanese dialogue in this regard.”
Nuland also called on Lebanon to “activate cooperation with international organizations, especially the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, in a bid to address the new Syrian displacement file and all aspects of the displacement file.”
The US official also stressed that “Washington supports the Lebanese army”, reiterating the pressing need to “complete economic and financial reforms.”