July 18 (EUROPA PRESS) –
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United States, France and Qatar have announced that they are considering “concrete measures” against those Lebanese officials who are blocking the election of a new president in the country, a position that is vacant after the end of the mandate of Michel Aoun on October 31, 2022.
“While our five countries have underlined our commitment to the sovereignty and independence of Lebanon, we note with concern that almost nine months after the end of Michel Aoun’s term, Lebanon’s political leaders have still not chosen a successor,” reads a joint statement.
The representatives of these countries, who have met this Monday, have discussed the “urgent need for the Lebanese leaders to speed up the presidential elections and apply imperative economic reforms to fulfill their responsibilities towards their citizens”, since these measures will guarantee “a more prosperous future”.
“It is crucial that the Lebanese deputies fulfill their constitutional responsibility and proceed to the election of a president”, who “embodies integrity, unites the nation, puts the country’s interests first, prioritizes the well-being of its citizens and builds a coalition broad and inclusive framework to apply the economic reforms” recommended by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Likewise, these five countries, which have highlighted the “urgent needs” of the Lebanese people, have also pointed to the “desperate need for judicial reform” and have asked the authorities to apply the resolutions of the UN Security Council and other agreements.
In mid-June, the speaker of the Lebanese Parliament, Nabih Berri, postponed the body’s sessions without date after the twelfth failure to elect the country’s president, as none of the candidates achieved the necessary number of votes.
Aoun was elected president in 2016 after almost fifty parliamentary sessions that lasted for two and a half years. Lebanon has been trapped for several years in a deep and prolonged political, economic and social crisis that has caused more than 70 percent of the population to live below the poverty line and a banking system that has been paralyzed since October 2019.