UN, world leaders cautiously welcome new Lebanon government

UN, Western leaders cautiously welcome new Lebanon government
2 min read
11 September, 2021
The UN chief said of the new government that 'of course it is not enough, there are many other things to be solved, but this was the basic condition for anything else to be possible'.
Lebanon ended a 13-month wait for a new government [Getty-file photo]

The United Nations and world leaders have cautiously welcomed the appointment of a new government in crisis-hit Lebanon.

The appointment is a "very important step" for the crisis-hit country, UN chief Antonio Guterres said Friday, wishing Prime Minister Najib Mikati "the best success."

Guterres added of the new government that "of course it is not enough, there are many other things to be solved, but this was the basic condition for anything else to be possible."

"I wish that he is able to bring together the different Lebanese communities and the different Lebanese political forces in order to make sure that Lebanon is able to overcome the dramatic situation it faces now," Guterres told a press conference.

Lebanon ended a 13-month wait for a new government with the unveiling of a lineup that faces the daunting task of rescuing the country from economic meltdown.

Billionaire Mikati, Lebanon's prime minister for the third time, made an emotional statement from the presidency vowing to leave no stone unturned in efforts to save the country from bankruptcy.

The newcomers include many technocrats but each minister was endorsed by one or several of the factions that have dominated Lebanese politics since the 1975-1990 civil war.

The United States on Friday called for Lebanon to take "urgent action" to reform a battered economy.

"The United States welcomes the announcement that Lebanon's leaders have agreed to form a new government under the leadership of Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati, offering hope that urgent action will be taken to address the dire needs and legitimate aspirations of the Lebanese people," State Department spokesman Ned Price said.

"We urge quick approval by the parliament so that this new government can get to work on concrete reforms to address Lebanon's deteriorating economic situation."

French President Emmanuel Macron called the new government's appointment a "very important step" for Lebanon "to pull the country out of the deep crisis in which it finds itself".

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