Wednesday 22 May 2024 - 12:00

12:59 pm


Mikati’s meeting with Arab-International Quintet Committee stresses urgency for presidential election amid regional challenges

NNA - Caretaker Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, on Friday met with the Ambassadors of the "Arab-International Quintet Committee" at the Grand Serail. The Ambassadors include KSA Ambassador Walid Bukhari, French Ambassador Hervé Magro, Qatari Ambassador Sheikh Saud bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Egyptian Ambassador Alaa Moussa, and US Ambassador Lisa Johnson. 

During the meeting, the Prime Minister commended the efforts of the committee members and "encouraged them to continue working towards unifying visions and pushing towards the election of a new president for the country, with the president being a sponsor of dialogue and a supporter of economic and social reforms, as well as the cornerstone in implementing the constitution and the Taif Agreement."

Mikati also voiced "Lebanon's appreciation for the Quintet countries’ efforts and their keenness on the country’s stability and security,” expressing hope "that MPs would shoulder their responsibilities in electing a president."

Following the meeting, the Egyptian ambassador stated: "We held a crucial meeting with Prime Minister Mikati, continuing our discussions and rounds of talks that began some time ago with Lebanese officials, and a number of political bloc leaders. Sometimes, we operate as a Quintet committee and at other times, engage bilaterally. However, we always represent the viewpoint of the Quintet."

"During the meeting, we discussed several constants, which I will reiterate, that it is imperative to expedite the election of a president. The circumstances in Lebanon and the region compel all of us to fulfill this obligation. We reiterated the unity of the Quintet's stance, and our commitment to providing all assistance and facilitations as long as we sense commitment and willingness from the political forces, which we have observed in the past period,” the Egyptian diplomat said. 

"There is a renewed spirit and desire, albeit to varying degrees, and this is what we will work on in the coming period to reach a unified position and roadmap to complete the presidential election process,” he added. 

"So far, we remain optimistic, and after our meeting with the PM, we came out with a great sense of optimism. What we heard from the PM encourages and motivates us to continue what we started some time ago when we met with Speaker Berri. As for the timing, we must realize that the process is not easy and is complex, subject to the surrounding circumstances. Therefore, there is no delay compared to the period when we all began waiting for the election of a president. The coming period will not have a significant impact but will help create the atmosphere. In fact, the movement of political forces and what is currently happening truly reflects the authenticity of political forces, parliamentary blocs, and a group of deputies who are moving, all aiming to facilitate and create a common ground for everyone to work on to facilitate the election of the president. Therefore, they are commended for their efforts, which will yield results. It is possible that we will continue our discussions and meetings with various political forces in the coming period to reach a unified position and commitment to complete this obligation as soon as possible,” the Egyptian Ambassador added. 

Whether electing a president required regional settlements, the Egyptian Ambassador said, "We believe that there doesn't necessarily have to be a direct link between what's happening in Gaza and Lebanon. What happens in Gaza affects not only Lebanon but the entire region. We emphasize the importance of viewing this positively, meaning that what happens in Gaza should be a greater incentive for Lebanon to complete the process of electing a president, as it is of utmost importance and necessity not only now but also for the future days. The challenges and commitments that the region will witness require Lebanon to have a president speaking in its name, which is extremely important. This is what we aim for in the coming period, once again creating an atmosphere and coming out with a clear commitment from the political forces that have a genuine desire to move towards ending this matter as soon as possible."

Whether there existed any disputes within the Quintet, he said: “The Quintet's stance is unified, and its members speak with one voice and language. There are no disputes among its members, and next time we will invite you to attend the Quintet's deliberations to witness the harmony and coordination among its members."

Responding to a final question about whether the committee has been discussing names, the Egyptian diplomat said: "The Quintet does not discuss names, as this is a fundamental and exclusive right of Lebanon and Lebanese political forces."





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