Aoun to Kardel: We hope Russian initiative would receive United Nations support

President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, hoped during his meeting with the UN Secretary General’s representative, Pernille Dahler Kardel, that “the Russian initiative to bring back Syrian refugees to their country would gain the support of the United Nations, so as to put an end to their suffering.”

“We welcomed the Russian initiative because it provides the return of 890,000 Syrian refugees from Lebanon to Syria. We will form a committee to coordinate with the Russians and study the technical details of the return mechanism,” Aoun said, calling to inform UN Secretary-General, Antonio Gutierrez, of Lebanon’s request to extend the UNIFIL mandate without change, neither in missions nor in personnel numbers.

While he expressed his hope that “the Russian initiative will bring about the return of the displaced Syrians in Lebanon,” Aoun pointed out that “the paragraph in the report of the UN Secretary-General to the Security Council on the displaced Syrians, which was submitted a few days ago in New York, does not accurately relay the Lebanese position which has always called for a voluntary and safe return for the displaced. As for the rest of the points mentioned in the report, Lebanon regards them as positive.”

Kardel, in turn, relayed to President Aoun the atmosphere of the UN Security Council deliberations on the report on the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, stressing that “the United Nations is committed to full partnership with Lebanon so as to maintain its security and stability and keep it away from the developments taking place in its surroundings.”

“The Security Council praised Lebanon’s ability to hold the parliamentary elections on time, in a bid to complete the reconstruction of constitutional institutions. It encourages, in this context, the Premier-designate to speed up the formation of the new government. Members of the Security Council have commended the role of the Army and stressed the need to develop its capabilities so it could impose its authority across all Lebanese territory,” she said.

President Aoun also met at the Baabda Palace with the Qatari Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Bin Hamad Al Marri, marking the end of his diplomatic missions in Lebanon.

Ambassador Al-Marri conveyed to the President of the Republic “the greetings of the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, and his wishes to Lebanon and its people for stability, prosperity and progress.”

President Aoun, in turn, thanked the Ambassador for his “efforts to promote bilateral relations.” In recognition of this, he awarded him the National Order of the Cedar Order (senior officer grade), and wished him “success in his new diplomatic responsibilities.”

The State of Qatar has appointed in Beirut Ambassador Mohammad Hassan Al-Jaber as the successor to Ambassador Al-Marri.

Source: National News Agency