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UN Chief to work with new Lebanon government on developments

Komal FatimaWeb Editor

22nd Jan, 2020. 12:59 pm
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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed the creation of a new Lebanon government that was made yesterday

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed the creation of a new Lebanon government that was made yesterday. General Antonio Guterres is likely to coordinate the new prime minister to deal with the economic crisis in the country.

Guterres’ spokesperson stated that the United Nations has pledged to support “Lebanon’s strengthening of its sovereignty, stability, and political independence”.

Note that Prime Minister Hassan Diab is leading a new government created after the Hezbollah movement and its allies agreed on the cabinet.

The Lebanon government was created after Hezbollah and its allies signed a deal on a contract.

Prime Minister Saad Hariri had resigned from the office in October under anti-government protests.

Prime Minister Hassan Diab said, “I’ve been appointed in the face of many accusations. I wanted to work, not to argue. I have abided by the law informing me to form a government. I followed the rules and regulations to form a new team of ministers,”

“This is a government that represents the aspirations of the demonstrators who have been mobilized nationwide for more than three months,”

He also promised that his government “will strive to meet their demands for an independent judiciary, for the recovery of embezzled funds, for the fight against illegal gains”

“In this decisive moment, I salute the revolution and the uprising that pushed us towards this and Lebanon has become victorious. We will achieve social cohesion. There will be accountability.”

“This [is a] government that does not aspire to cronyism and favors. None of the members of the government will be standing for the next elections. This government is made up of non-partisan people who are not affected by political wrangling.”

Anti-government protests

It should be remembered that tens of thousands of demonstrators had gathered on the streets of Lebanon of anti-government protests in October.

According to Arab media, the demonstrators were demanding a sweeping overhaul of Lebanon’s political system, citing grievances ranging from austerity measures to poor infrastructure.

The latest unrest was sparked by anger over the rising cost of living and new tax plans, including a fee on WhatsApp calls, which was quickly retracted after protests broke out.

The protests followed a build-up in grievances over perceived government corruption, mismanagement of funds and a failure to address high unemployment.

Lebanon has one of the highest public debt burdens in the world and the government is trying to reach an agreement on a package of belt-tightening measures to cap the deficit in next year’s budget.

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