The Interview

UN special coordinator for Lebanon hopes new govt will be formed within 'days'

THE INTERVIEW
THE INTERVIEW © FRANCE 24

In an interview with FRANCE 24, the UN's Special Coordinator for Lebanon Jan Kubis lamented the absence of a functioning government in the country despite promises by the main political parties to form one quickly in the aftermath of the deadly August 4 Beirut blast. Kubis said he hoped a government would be formed "within days, definitely not weeks".

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The UN special coordinator for Lebanon expressed regret that 100 days after the devastating blast at Beirut's port, there were worrying signs that the investigation promised by the Lebanese authorities was not progressing. He said that this lack of accountability was further increasing the Lebanese people's mistrust. However, he held out hope that the participation of foreign experts in the probe would "give credibility to the whole exercise".

Kubis also lamented the country's lack of a functioning government despite promises by the main political parties to form one quickly in the aftermath of the blast. Last month, President Michel Aoun asked Saad Hariri, a former prime minister, to form a new government after the previous PM-designate Hassan Diab threw in the towel.

>> Former PM Hariri to head new government in crisis-hit Lebanon

The top UN diplomat said he had briefed the UN Security Council about the lack of progress and that the UN body had strongly urged the key Lebanese political players to move things along.

Kubis warned that if the political vacuum continues, Lebanon could face a "humanitarian catastrophe" and even a "collapse". He said top foreign officials had relayed the message to the country's politicians that they could not simply wait for foreign donors or powers to come to the rescue but had to find a way forward.

The top UN diplomat added that the recent US sanctions slapped on leading Lebanese politician Gebran Bassil should not serve as an excuse to delay the formation of a government. He concluded by saying that he hoped one would be formed within "days, definitely not weeks".

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