British ambassador to Lebanon Hugo Shorter met with Prime Minister Hariri and Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil this morning, and discussed the impending deadline for parliamentary elections.
Just as I did with Speaker Berri some days ago, today I separately discussed the impending deadline for parliamentary elections with Prime Minister Hariri just now and earlier with Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil.
I welcomed the political momentum that has brought renewed energy to Lebanon’s institutions through the election of the President, formation of the government and reactivation of the parliament. This has re-energised Lebanon’s international engagement, as seen for example by Lebanon’s strong showing at the Brussels Conference last month. It also underpins the continued strong bilateral cooperation between the UK and Lebanon.
I hope that this political momentum of the last few months can be maintained.
In this regard, I highlighted to the Prime Minister and earlier the Foreign Minister the recent statements of the international community, urging all parties to use the short time remaining to reach agreement on the framework for holding timely, peaceful and transparent elections.
I am pleased that the Prime Minister and I agreed that a new law should include a quota for women.
There are only 41 days until the expiry of parliament’s mandate. Lebanon and its people have long been proud of their democratic tradition. The timely conduct of elections is key to ensuring that a healthy democracy is preserved.
The United Kingdom will continue to follow discussions on a new electoral law and timing of elections very closely.’