The Delegation of the European Union issues the following statement in agreement with the EU Heads of Mission in Lebanon:
The EU Heads of Mission in Lebanon acknowledge that Lebanon’s citizens have taken to the streets and expressed their disillusionment with the political situation in the country. They have called for accountability of political leaders and better governmental performance as well as to overcome societal divisions. Their calls must be heard.
Following the resignation of Prime Minister Hariri it is imperative that a new Government is formed without delay and that structural reforms will be implemented. We call upon the Government to engage with civil society in an inclusive dialogue.
We express grave concern about any infringement on the citizens’ freedom of assembly and expression as well as about recent occasions of violence around protests. We commend the security forces for their policy of restraint shown so far and we continue to call on the authorities to protect all peaceful protests. Political parties bear responsibility for the behavior of their supporters. We call on all political leaders to refrain from rhetoric that could incite violence in this critical period ahead.
The European Union and its Member States reaffirm the strong and enduring partnership with Lebanon and its people and our support for Lebanon’s stability, territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence.