JOINT STATEMENT FOLLOWING THE SERIES OF MEETINGS OF QUINTET AMBASSADORS WITH LEBANESE POLITICAL BLOCS

After more than eighteen months of vacancy in the presidency of the Republic in Lebanon, the ambassadors of Egypt, France, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United States are once again emphasizing the dramatic situation in facing the Lebanese people, and the irreversible repercussions of the delay in the implementation of crucial reforms on the economy and social stability of Lebanon. Lebanon cannot afford to wait another month. The country needs a president, it deserves a president who can unite the nation, prioritize the well-being of its citizens and form a broad and inclusive coalition to restore political stability and implement necessary economic reforms. The election of a president is also necessary to ensure that Lebanon has a place at the table in regional discussions and to conclude a future diplomatic agreement over Lebanon’s southern border.

Last month, Quintet ambassadors completed meetings with Lebanon’s main political blocs to discuss the continuing presidential vacuum. The discussions of the Quintet ambassadors with the political blocs have shown that the latter agree on the imperative need to elect a president and are ready to contribute to a renewed effort to achieve this objective, as early as the end of May 2024 for some.

Therefore, the Quintet ambassadors believe that consultations, limited in scope and duration, between political blocs, are necessary to end the current political impasse. These consultations should aim only to identify a broadly agreed upon candidate, or a shortlist of presidential candidates. As soon as these consultations end, members of Parliament would go to an open electoral session in Parliament with several rounds until the election of a new president. The Quintet ambassadors call on Lebanese parliamentarians to carry out consultations and fulfill their constitutional responsibility to elect a president.

Egypt, France, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United States reiterate their united position of support for the Lebanese government and people, as expressed in the Doha Declaration issued last July. The Quintet ambassadors reaffirm their commitment to respecting the sovereignty and Constitution of Lebanon, and continue their honest and impartial efforts to help Lebanon emerge from its current crises and regain its political and economic health. The Quintet ambassadors are ready to witness and facilitate the suggested political consultations, in tandem with the ongoing Lebanese initiatives and efforts by all Lebanese parties and stakeholders, including the Bloc moderation.

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