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Spain envoy lauds Cabinet confidence win

Hernando said the Cabinet's win of a confidence vote will pave the way for holding presidential elections. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

SIDON, Lebanon: Spain’s Ambassador to Lebanon Milagros Hernando praised Friday the government’s win of Parliament’s confidence vote as a “positive” step toward enhancing stability in Lebanon and paving the way for holding the presidential election on time.

She spoke to reporters on the sidelines of a ceremony marking Mother’s Day at a school east of the southern city of Sidon. The ceremony, attended by MP Michel Moussa and his wife, representatives of the Future Movement, the governor of the south Nicolas Bu Daher, and other officials, featured songs and dances performed by children on the occasion.

“Spain, the European Union and the international community have supported the efforts exerted by Prime Minister Tammam Salam to form a Cabinet and win [a] confidence [vote],” Hernando said. “Winning [a] confidence [vote] is a positive matter for stability in the country and accord. This is what we have always advised and wished for Lebanon.”

She added that the confidence vote was also good for creating a favorable atmosphere for the presidential election to be held on time.

“We hope that all political parties will work united to achieve more positive results and progress for the future of Lebanon,” the envoy said.

Salam’s 24-member coalition government easily won a vote of confidence in Parliament Thursday following two days of often-heated rhetoric between lawmakers over Hezbollah’s role in Syria. Of the 101 lawmakers attending the voting session, 96 MPs backed the Cabinet, while four lawmakers voted no confidence and a fifth abstained.

Referring to the tense border region where Lebanese towns and villages have been targeted by Syrian airstrikes and bombing, Hernando said she hoped Lebanese political leaders would be able to control the situation there.

“In light of the ongoing events in Syria, we believe that if it [the war in Syria] dragged on for long, this would complicate the situation on the border,” she said.

“But at the same time, we hope that Lebanese political forces will be able to control the situation and for everyone to show wisdom and consciousness so as to spare the country and the people in Lebanon security problems and terrorist threats,” she added.

Hernando said the large number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon have been suffering “difficult and complicated conditions” since the uprising began in Syria in March 2011.

“But it is right to say that the Lebanese have been generous with the [Syrian] refugees and have taken initiatives in this respect in parallel with what the international agencies are doing,” she said. She added that the EU was trying to alleviate the plight of Syrian refuges pending a political solution to the 3-year-old conflict in Syria.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on March 22, 2014, on page 2.

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Summary

Spain's Ambassador to Lebanon Milagros Hernando praised Friday the government's win of Parliament's confidence vote as a "positive" step toward enhancing stability in Lebanon and paving the way for holding the presidential election on time.

This is what we have always advised and wished for Lebanon".

She added that the confidence vote was also good for creating a favorable atmosphere for the presidential election to be held on time.

Of the 101 lawmakers attending the voting session, 96 MPs backed the Cabinet, while four lawmakers voted no confidence and a fifth abstained.


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