Voicing his concerns about the recent rise in tensions and rhetoric in Lebanon, the United Nations envoy there stressed that any differences must be resolved through dialogue.
Tensions had escalated in recent weeks following armed clashes in late August between Shi’a and Sunni Muslim groups in the capital, Beirut.
UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams discussed the situation during separate meetings today with Foreign Minister Ali Shami and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri.
“The United Nations continues to believe that any differences should be resolved through calm and rational dialogue between all sides, and through the work of Lebanon’s state institutions,” he said following his meeting with Mr. Shami.
He added that all Lebanese must work to safeguard these institutions, which are the pillars of the stability of any country, including Lebanon.
The meetings also focused on the implementation of Security Council resolution 1701, which ended the conflict between Israel and Hizbollah that erupted in 2006.
Mr. Williams also met today with President Michel Sleiman ahead of his trip to New York to attend the annual UN General Assembly, and noted that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is looking forward to meeting with the President and Foreign Minister to discuss resolution 1701 and other relevant issues.