| 21 May 2024, Tuesday |

Guterres interested in Lebanese affairs.. Wronecka: “We are ready to help”

UN Special Coordinator Joanna Wronecka confirmed that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is very concerned about Lebanon, and is following up the developments because he considers Lebanon an important country in the region, and revealed that President Najib Mikati has invited him to visit Lebanon, the details of which will be discussed.
Wronecka hoped via a radio interview, that the diplomatic crisis with the Gulf states would be resolved, and indicated the need to implement “smooth” diplomacy that ensures stability in the region. She said that the United Nations is ready to provide assistance if requested, and about the outcome of the meetings she held, which included President Mikati and the Maronite Patriarch, she said that she was able to determine what the United Nations could offer to help Lebanon.
She hoped that the government would be able to implement its reform program, calling for avoiding political differences and adopting wisdom in dealing with matters because Lebanon has an opportunity that it must take advantage of, through friendly countries that wish to support it.
Regarding the parliamentary elections, she affirmed the readiness of the United Nations, the European Union and the World Bank to cooperate with the Ministry of Interior, to assist in their conduct and to follow up on the preparations, indicating that a meeting will be held on Monday at the Ministry of Interior for ambassadors in this regard.
As for the negotiations with the International Monetary Fund, Wronecka considered that the Lebanese negotiating team has extensive experience and called for the need to continue technical negotiations, with the importance of distancing them from political differences.
Wronecka also re-emphasized the importance of continuing a comprehensive and transparent investigation into the Beirut port explosion, because the recovery process cannot proceed if the investigation is not completed quickly. She said that the judiciary must be given an opportunity to impose the rule of law and determine justice, hoping that the political parties will separate these issues from the government’s work to be able to be effective because we need tangible results. On the possibility of going to an international investigation, she stressed that this can only happen at the request and approval of the concerned country.
Considering that the Tayouneh incident made everyone aware of the fragility of the situation, she talked about the need for wisdom, and find common ground to remind that Lebanon is a country of coexistence.
About the maritime border demarcation negotiations, Wronecka said that the United Nations encourages Israel and Lebanon to engage in direct negotiations without further delay, calling for a solution agreed upon by the two parties and of mutual benefit, encouraging Lebanon and Israel to engage constructively in the negotiations.