UN chief urges Lebanon to quickly form government

AFP , Monday 31 Oct 2016

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday welcomed the long-awaited election of a president in Lebanon and said a new government must now be formed without delay.

Ban congratulated Michel Aoun who was elected by Lebanese lawmakers, ending a two-year political vacuum in the country bordering Syria.

He "hopes that Lebanese parties will now continue to work in a spirit of unity and in the national interest," said a statement from his spokesman.

The UN chief "encourages the formation without delay of a government that can effectively serve the needs of all Lebanese citizens and address the serious challenges facing the country."

The United Nations has repeatedly called on Lebanon's political leaders to elect a president and bolster institutional stability at a time when the war in Syria was rattling the region.

Lebanon is hosting more than one million Syrian refugees while hundreds of thousands of displaced Palestinians have been living in squalid and often lawless camps in the country.

Ban also said that parliamentary elections should be held on time. Those are scheduled for next year.

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