Statement of UN Special Coordinator Derek Plumbly in Tripoli
Friday, 31 October 2013
I just had a very good meeting with Mufti Malek Shaar. I congratulated him on his safe return to Lebanon after several months of absence and welcomed the role he continues to play in working to promote reconciliation and calm in Tripoli. I relayed to the Mufti the UN’s serious concern over the recurrence of armed clashes in the city and my sincere condolences for the recent loss of life.
In the course of the day, I will also be meeting with a number of political officials in the city and also with UN personnel who are working here. We welcome the fact that calm has been restored but a temporary halt of the violence is not enough in Tripoli. What is needed are long-term security but also economic and social solutions. The people of Tripoli deserve a dignified, secure and stable life as all Lebanese people do. The present situation should not be allowed to continue.
We welcome the measures taken by the Lebanese army and the security forces, in parallel with concerted political efforts, to halt the violence and to restore relative calm to the city. I also encourage all sides to respect and cooperate with State institutions, particularly the security authorities who have a significant burden as they work to keep Lebanon safe from the impact of the crisis in neighboring Syria. The international community and the United Nations recognize these efforts and are committed to continue supporting them and enhancing their capabilities.
I would also like to take this opportunity to praise Tripoli and the people of Tripoli for the hospitality and generosity they have shown to thousands of people displaced from neighboring Syria despite the difficult conditions in their city. The United Nations is working closely with the Lebanese authorities and other NGOs to ensure that the needs of the refugees are met until they can return to their country.