BEIRUT — The Arab League on Friday called on "all Lebanese factions" to elect a president and implement reforms to pull Lebanon out of its ongoing economic crisis.
Lebanon has been without a president since Oct. 31, 2022, when Michel Aoun's term ended.
The League stated that it will stand in "solidarity with Lebanon "and urges "all Lebanese factions to negotiate in order to elect a president that meets the ambitions of the Lebanese."
The League also called for the “regulation of the constitutional institutions and the implementation of the demanded reforms to pull Lebanon out of its [economic] crisis.”
Lebanon has yet to implement structural reforms demanded by the IMF in exchange for a $3 billion cash assistance package. Additional aid would be given to Lebanon by Arab states if it were to implement these reforms.
Mikati during the summit
Lebanon's caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati spoke during the Arab Summit on Friday, stating that the repatriation of Lebanon's Syrian refugees cannot take place without Arab effort and support from the international community.
"Lebanon has never hesitated to open its doors to our Syrian refugee brothers ...However, the long duration of the crisis, the inability to deal with it and the very sharp increase in the number of refugees make the unbearable situation for Lebanon, whether in terms of infrastructure, social impact or political repercussions," Mikati said. He added that it is the "natural right" of these refugees to "return to their towns and villages."
Mikati said efforts for the return of Syrians to their country should take place through a "united Arab framework that would stimulate projects and build and revive destroyed places in order to place a roadmap for the return of the brotherly Syrians to their country."
Mikati also stressed Lebanon's "respect" for "all international decisions issued by the United Nations and the Arab League, and its pact and the commitment to implement them."
He also stressed Lebanon's respect for the sovereignty of its "sister countries," as well as their social and political security.
External interventions to end
The Arab League's statement called for an end to "external interventions in internal matters of Arab countries."
The League also said it "completely rejects the support of external armed factions and militias that are outside of the state ... [and] affirm that internal military clashes will not lead to any victory over the other but will lead to more struggle of citizens."
Hezbollah, supported by Iran, has a military arm that operates outside of state control. The party has historically been very outspoken in its criticisms of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries, especially since the Syrian civil war broke out in 2011.
Saudi Arabia also accuses Hezbollah of involvement in the war in Yemen.
The Arab Summit hosted Syrian President Bachar al-Asaad for the first time since the onset of the Syrian civil war in 2011. It also hosted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
BEIRUT — The Arab League on Friday called on "all Lebanese factions" to elect a president and implement reforms to pull Lebanon out of its ongoing economic crisis.Lebanon has been without a president since Oct. 31, 2022, when Michel Aoun's term ended.The League stated that it will stand in "solidarity with Lebanon "and urges "all Lebanese factions to negotiate in order to elect a president...