On Sunday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres started his four-day official visit to Lebanon per the invitation of Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati at their recent meeting in Glasgow at the COP26.
In a statement at the airport announcing his arrival, Guterres said he was going to Lebanon to “stand with” the country and its people.
Guterres expressed that, as a global community, we have a responsibility to show our support with the people of Lebanon at this critical time.” If there is one word to describe my trip, it would be “solidarity,” he added.
Less than three hours after arriving in Tripoli, the first stop on his trip to Lebanon, Guterres met with Lebanese President Michel Aoun. During a joint news conference with Guterres following their meeting, Aoun emphasized the “deep partnership” between Lebanon and the UN.
It is considered the most important meeting yet, with the aim of coordinating cooperation between them and assessing their ability to respond to Lebanon’s needs in dire times.
It is time for the international community to “take its obligations and support the safe return of Syrian refugees to their country,” Michel Aoun said in his speech. This has had a severe impact on the Lebanese economy and society, as Guterres noted,” he further said.
When asked about Lebanon’s “ordeals” before his trip, the UN chief emphasized his worry for the country, while adding that the UN stands behind the Lebanese people and is committed to helping Lebanon and its citizens.
The UN chief had earlier said that he would discuss the best methods to give help solve the crisis and promote peace, stability, justice, development, and human rights with the many persons he was meeting.
The UN Secretary-General and Mikati will meet on Monday, and leaders and representatives of other UN entities in Lebanon are anticipated to participate.