BEIRUT: United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon Derek Plumbly stressed Friday the need for Lebanon to commit to an agreement to distance the country from the Syrian crisis despite international diplomatic efforts next door.
“Obviously we greatly welcome the present diplomatic opening, but the situation remains serious, still further emphasizing if that were possible, the importance of Lebanon’s policy of dissociation and the principles of the Baabda Declaration,” said Plumbly after holding talks with caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati.
The Baabda Declaration is a political agreement made to distance the country from regional conflicts.
Syria is negotiating with the international community over control of its chemical stockpiles to avoid a Western military strike against the country after the regime allegedly used chemical weapons on civilians.
A statement from the U.N. envoy’s office said talks with Mikati addressed “the need for the formation a capable government as soon as possible in order to have an effective partner in all the areas of cooperation... between Lebanon and the United Nations.”
Talks also focused on the preparations for the inaugural meeting of the International Support Group which is scheduled to be held in New York at the end of September during a session of the U.N. General Assembly.
According to the statement, the meeting will include discussion on support for stability in Lebanon against the backdrop of the Syrian crisis and three priority areas for international assistance: refugees and vulnerable communities, structural and financial support for the Government of Lebanon; and support of the Lebanese Armed Forces.