Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the formation of a new Government after nearly five months of disagreement between the country’s various political groups, saying the move was an important step towards establishing a functional administration.
“The Secretary-General believes that the formation today of a new cabinet in Lebanon, following months of consultations under the auspices of President Michel Sleiman and Prime Minister Najib Mikati, is an important step toward establishing a functional, executive Government in Lebanon,” said a statement issued by his spokesperson.
Mr. Ban said he hoped the new Government will enable Lebanon to address the economic, political and security challenges facing the country and underlined the importance for Lebanese leaders to maintain a spirit of national dialogue and cooperation.
“The Secretary-General looks forward to the finalization, as soon as possible, of the new Government’s platform. He expects the Government of Lebanon to reiterate its commitment to the full implementation of Security Council resolution 1701 and to all of Lebanon’s international obligations,” the statement added.
The terms of Security Council resolution 1701 ended a month-long war between Israel and Hizbollah in 2006. It also calls for respect for the Blue Line separating Israel and Lebanon, the disarming of all militias in Lebanon, and an end to arms smuggling in the area.
Earlier, the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Michael Williams, congratulated Mr. Mikati and expressed hope that the new administration will tackle Lebanon’s many challenges. He said the new Government will “enable the country to address the manifold challenges facing the country, whether economic, political or security.”
Mr. Mikati’s nomination followed the collapse of the government led by Saad Hariri after 11 Hizbollah and allied ministers resigned, reportedly over its refusal to cease cooperation with the UN-backed court investigating the 2005 assassination of Mr. Hariri’s father Rafiq and 22 others, amid reports that the tribunal was about to indict Hizbollah members for the murders.