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'Historic' Election Of Lebanese President Welcomed

Secretary-General welcomes 'historic' election of Lebanese President

25 May 2008 - United Nations Secretary-General today congratulated the Lebanese people on the election of President Michel Suleimane, ending the deadlock that has endured in the Middle Eastern nation since last November.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban voiced hope that "today's historic event leads to the revitalization of all of Lebanon's constitutional institutions and a return to political dialogue within this framework."

Since the presidential office became vacant in November 2007, there have been 18 failed attempts to conduct a parliamentary vote for president.

He urged all parties to continue together in efforts to enhance the country's sovereignty, stability and political independence in accordance with the Taif accord and relevant Security Council resolutions.

"The Secretary-General stands ready to support the Lebanese people as required and looks forward to working closely with the President and the future Government of Lebanon towards these goals," the statement said.

On 21 May, he welcomed the agreement reached in Doha, Qatar, among Lebanese political leaders to resolve their prolonged stand-off over the presidency and the country's direction.

That accord followed recent violence in the capital, Beirut, and elsewhere between pro- and anti-Government militias.

ENDS

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