Egypt’s foreign minister Sameh Shoukry met with Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri in Beirut on Tuesday, where both officials discussed ongoing efforts to reach aconsensus between Lebanon’s various political factions and put an end to a three-year power vacuum.
In an official statement by Egypt’s foreign ministry on Facebook, spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said that Shoukry assured that Egypt was closely following the efforts made in Lebanon to overcome the political crisis.
Shoukry expressed Egypt’s concern over a presidential void, adding that its interest in domestic Lebanese affairs comes in a context of Egypt’s support for promoting Arab national security and diffusing crises in the region.
According to Abu Zeid, the Lebanese parliamentary speaker stressed that he had suggestions he would present in the coming period to deal with the presidential vacuum, including pushing for a new elections bill and the formation of a Lebanese government as well as choosing a new head of state through a comprehensive deal.
He added that the political scene in Lebanon was witnessing major challenges due to the vacuum, though Berri said that the security situation has been stable in the last period.
Lebanon has been suffering a presidential vacuum since May 2014 following the end of president Michel Suleiman’s term.
According to Egypt’s envoy to Lebanon, Egypt is making available all of its diplomatic and political expertise to the Lebanese, adding that Cairo supports any initiatives that aim to build consensus among rival parties.
Shoukry met earlier with Lebanon’s Prime Minister Tammam Salam, where he expressed Egypt’s worry of an extended Lebanese crisis, which could present a threat to the security of the country and the state’s ability to function.