Tuesday, June 09, 2009


New York, Jun 9 2009 4:10PM
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been discussing this weekend's peaceful parliamentary elections with Lebanese political leaders, expressing his hope that a new Government will be set up speedily.

In separate telephone calls this morning, Mr. Ban spoke with President Michel Suleiman, Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and Saad Hariri, leader of the 14 March coalition.

The Secretary-General "congratulated them on the elections and expressed the hope that the formation of the new government will proceed expeditiously and that it will take place in a calm and secure environment," UN spokesperson Marie Okabe told reporters in New York.

Mr. Ban also told the three men that he is counting on the new Government to fully implement Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 war between Israel and Hizbollah.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson yesterday, he congratulated Lebanon on the Sunday elections, urging all Lebanese people to cooperate "in the spirit of coexistence and democracy."

The Secretary-General also called on "all Lebanese to respect the results," voicing hope that "the process of government formation will commence expeditiously and that it will take place in a calm and secure environment."

Both yesterday's polls and the formation of a new Government "represent further important steps along the path of the revitalization of the State's political institutions," the statement added.

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