British Government Welcomes New Government in Lebanon

The British Government has welcomed the new Government in Lebanon, which is a national unity government formed after nine months of debate. Saad al-Hariri will remain as Prime Minister, a role which he has held since December 2016.

Alistair Burt, the Minister of State for the Middle East, said in a statement:

“I congratulate President Aoun and Prime Minister Hariri and welcome the announcement of the formation of Lebanon’s new government. This is an important moment for Lebanon.

The new government will have the increasingly important task of protecting Lebanon’s sovereignty, security and stability, including through implementing the policy of disassociation from regional conflicts, and abiding by the provisions of all relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, including 1559 and 1701. The United Kingdom will continue to support these goals, including strengthening the Lebanese Armed Forces in its role as Lebanon’s sole and legitimate defender.

This is a very important time for the Lebanese economy, and we look forward to rapid progress being made on the commitments made at the CEDRE Conference in Paris on 6 April last year. The UK-Lebanon Business and Investment forum in London on December 12 was an important moment in demonstrating Lebanon’s commitment to delivering key economic reforms, and now is the time for action.

The United Kingdom remains committed to supporting Lebanon, particularly in the fields of security, education and economic growth, as well as by providing support to its most vulnerable.”

Foreign Secretary Makes Statement on Situation in Lebanon

Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, has said that the UK will continue to support Lebanon however it can following recent difficulties. It comes after the resignation of Saad Hariri, the country’s Prime Minister, and confusion over the reasons for why he had quit.

Johnson said in a statement:

“I spoke today to Foreign Minister Bassil on the latest developments in Lebanon. I reiterated to him the United Kingdom’s full support for the sovereignty and independence of Lebanon.

Prime Minister Hariri has been a good and trusted partner for the UK, and we hope that he will return to Beirut without further delay, not least in the interests of Lebanon’s political stability.

We urge all parties with an interest in Lebanon to do all they can to encourage this, and to work more broadly to reduce recent tensions.

I reassured the Foreign Minister that the UK will continue to support the people and institutions of Lebanon at this challenging time.

The Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) is the only legitimate authority within Lebanon, and no militia groups or foreign forces should aim to challenge the LAF as the ultimate guarantor of the Lebanese people’s security.

We echo the concerns of the United States and our European partners that Lebanon should not be used as a tool for proxy conflicts, and that its independence and integrity should be respected by all parties – within the country and beyond”.