Dec 20 2021 - 05:23

UN Secretary-General Guterres visits Beirut Port and UNRWA School, tours Lebanese leaders - [REPORT]

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres toured on Monday the Beirut Port Lebanon, news ,lbci ,أخبار Berri, Mikati, Lebanon, Beirut Port, Guterres, Secretary-General,UN,UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres toured on Monday the Beirut Port
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Lebanon News
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres toured on Monday the Beirut Port, and inspected the extensive damage caused by August 4 explosion.

Guterres then visited the Grand Serail and met Prime Minister Najib Mikati, who renewed Lebanon's adherence to the role of the UNIFIL in terms of the implementation of Security Council’s resolution 1701. Mikati underlined that Lebanon must commit to the implementation of the said resolution and respect international legitimacy.


Within this context, the Prime Minister urged the UN to force Israel to fully execute resolution 1701 and cease its repetitive attacks on Lebanon and its land, air, and maritime sovereignty. Mikati went on to confirm Lebanon's commitment to proceeding with the U.S.-mediated and UN-sponsored negotiations of the maritime border demarcation.


He also renewed Lebanon's commitment to the policy of dissociation from any row between Arab states, stressing that "Lebanon will only be a factor of unification among the Arab brothers."


On a different note, Mikati addressed the many crises that Lebanon is going through, stressing on the refugee crisis. However, he noted that "Lebanon is looking forward to holding the parliamentary elections next year." He added that “within this context, the government is determined to conduct the polls on their scheduled date without any delay."


Mikati then thanked the UN on behalf of the country for its continuous support and fruitful cooperation with the government. He said that he “hopes the UN will contribute to facilitating the link between Lebanon's development needs and funding sources to stop the collapse, in cooperation with donor countries and international financial institutions, foremost of which are the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.


He pointed out to Guterres that "between Lebanon and the United Nations, close ties have been established through a long process of cooperation, and we know your personal concern for Lebanon and your interest in its issues, role and message. We are confident that your visit to our country in particular, in person and with everything that you represent, constitutes a message of hope, support and solidarity that we need in these difficult circumstances we are going through.”


Later during the day, Guterres visited House Speaker Nabih Berri at the Second Presidency in Ain El-Tineh in the presence of the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Joanna Wronecka, UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Stefano Del Col, and the UN delegation.


Berri and Guterres held a closed meeting which lasted for more than 20 minutes, followed by an enlarged meeting, during which they discussed the current general situation, especially the border demarcation issue.


Following the meeting, Speaker Berri and the UN Chief held a joint press conference, in which Guterres said: “We just had a very constructive conversation, and I’m very grateful to Speaker Nabih Berri, a very constructive conversation about how to best address the complex and difficult situation in Lebanon.


I do believe that only Lebanese can solve Lebanese their problems, but I also do believe that the international community needs to strengthen its support to Lebanon to overcome the present very difficult circumstances.


And the United Nations wants to express its strong solidarity with the Lebanese people in this moment and we’ll do everything to mobilize the international community to strengthen its support to Lebanon, humanitarian support, development support and support to the restructuring of the different aspects of the economy and of the financial situation of the country.


Just before this visit, I was in the Port of Beirut to pay tribute to the victims that lost their lives and to express my solidarity to all those wounded and to the families. I know the suffering and I know the will of the people to know the truth, the will of the people to have proper accountability and I want to express my very deep solidarity to all the victims of that tragedy.


On the other hand, we had the opportunity to discuss the presence of UNIFIL in southern Lebanon, the need to end all violations, of the ceasefire and in particular the Speaker has drawn my attention to the violations of the airspace of Lebanon, and also the need for total implementation of the resolutions of the Security Council.


And we discussed the importance of the cooperation between UNIFIL and the Lebanese Armed Forces that the international community needs also to support much more strongly.


In the scope of our activities we will also be doing everything we can in order to facilitate the negotiations that hopefully will lead to a rapid solution for the delimitation of the maritime border allowing Lebanon to take full profit of the natural resources that lay there and would of course constitute an important contribution to address the economic and social problems of the country.


This is the moment for Lebanese political leaders to come together to overcome divisions, and this is the moment for the international community to strengthen their support to the people of Lebanon. The combination of these two factors, the determination and the unity of Lebanese leaders and the solidarity of the international community, I hope will allow in the near future the people of Lebanon having again the life and the prosperity that was characteristic of the past and that corresponds to one of the oldest civilizations in the world."

Antonio Guterres later visited the UNRWA School in Tripoli, where he was received by the Minister of Interior and Municipalities Bassam Mawlawi.

The UN SG met with the students and listened to their complaints and sufferings due to the current crisis.

The students complained about the lack of sports support, and some others complained about food shortage at home.
To watch full report, please click on the video above.
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