BEIRUT: U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Derek Plumbly praised Tuesday the Interior Minister on the success of his security plan in restive parts of the country as well as the Tfeil aid operation.
“I congratulated him on the initiative he had taken to bring relief to Tfeil. I congratulated him as well, very warmly on his efforts and the efforts of his ministry and the security forces to ensure the success of the security plan in Tripoli and in the Bekaa,” Plumbly told reporters after his meeting with Nouhad Machnouk.
The government last month launched a security plan to restore law and order in the northern city of Tripoli and Lebanese regions bordering Syria.
The plan has so far been successful in limiting the infiltration of gunmen into Lebanon and curbing the phenomenon of suicide attacks and restoring normalcy to Tripoli.
Plumbly also said he discussed with Machnouk the Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon as well U.N. cooperation with the ministry in preparation for the parliamentary elections.
“We discussed different aspects of the humanitarian situation as it relates to refugees and host communities and our efforts to encourage burden-sharing and greater international support for Lebanon,” he said.
“Of course, we are all focused at the moment on the presidential election process, on which, as I have said before, we are all concerned that it should be completed successfully within the timeframe set by the constitution,” the U.N. official said.
“But it is also important that Lebanon be ready to complete the other key part of the democratic process, that is to say the parliamentary elections, and I know that the minister shares that concern."
Machnouk also held talks with Russian Ambassador Alexander Zasypkin, who added his praise for the successful the security plan.
"Lebanese authorities are exerting all efforts to impose security and stability in this country and that reassures us and we support it particular that it would pave the way for the presidential election,” Zasypkin told reporters. "We are optimistic about the next phase although consultations over the presidential election will take some time."
He said Russia did not favor a specific candidate and that foreign countries should work to secure the appropriate environment to allow Lebanon to hold the election.
“We believe that foreign parties can play a role in clearing the air on this issue and not interfere but provide the appropriate conditions,” he said.