Ambassadors of Western powers meet Rahi, push Lebanese to convene to elect President without further delay

APRIL 16, 2015 (REFERRING TO THE NATIONAL NEWS AGENCY – LEBANON) The Ambassadors of Western powers convened in Bkerke on Thursday upon the call of Maronite Patriarch Mar Bechara Boutros Al-Rahi for talks over recent developments at the local and regional scenes.

Participating in the meeting had been the UN Secretary-General Representative, Sigrid Kaag, Apostolic Nuncio, Gabriel Katchea, U.S. Ambassador David Hale, French Ambassador Patrice Paoli, European Union Ambassador, Angelina Eichhorst, British Ambassador Tom Fletcher, and Chinese Ambassador Jiang Jiang.

In his delivered word, Rahi asked of the International Community to help Lebanon elect a president and to support the ongoing dialogue between different political parties en route to an agreement that would help resume a natural political life in the country.

In the wake of the meeting, the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon and the Heads of Mission of the Permanent Members of the Security Council, Italy and Germany issued the following statement:

“We 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.”