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The file of the displaced...Lebanon places it on the table of the United Nations

The file of the displaced..Lebanon places it on the table of the United Nations. Eyes are on the meeting of the “Five-Year Committee,” which will discuss in New York the issue of electing a president of the republic.

 العين على اجتماع "اللجنة الخماسية" التي ستبحث في نيويورك مسألة انتخاب رئيس للجمهورية
Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati receives United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Beirut in 2021 (Dalati and Nahra)

The 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly begins today in New York. Lebanon is participating in these meetings alongside the 193 member states. The Lebanese delegation is headed by caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati, and in light of a vacuum in the position of the Presidency of the Republic since last October.

Foreign Minister Abdullah Bouhabib participates in the delegation. Mikati also headed the Lebanese delegation last year after a sudden decision by former President Michel Aoun not to travel for reasons that were said at the time to be related to medical advice that urged him not to exhaust himself with long travel.

Mikati will participate with heads of state and government in the summit on sustainable development goals and will deliver Lebanon’s speech for the second year in a row, noting that the date for his accession to the UN platform has not yet been set, which is likely to be Thursday, according to what government circles confirmed to “Independent Arabia.”

In his speech, the Prime Minister addresses three topics that he considers to have hindered his government in addressing the crisis in Lebanon. The first title is the vacancy in the position of the Presidency of the Republic because it is an essential prelude to any solution to the Lebanese crisis. The second title is the necessity of resuming legislation in the House of Representatives to approve laws related to the reforms identified by the International Monetary Fund. The third title will be the file of displaced Syrians and the burdens imposed on Lebanon as a result of this displacement and the necessity of finding a quick solution. This problem is because Lebanon can no longer tolerate it. According to what Independent Arabia has learned, he will devote the largest part of his speech at the United Nations to the file of displaced Syrians.

Mikati is expected to reiterate Lebanon's commitment to international resolutions and demand continued support for the Lebanese army and armed forces. He will also address the issue of renewal of international forces operating in southern Lebanon, the text of whose resolution constituted a source of contention with the Security Council.

In contrast to his speech at the 77th session, during which Mikati heralded at the time that the file of maritime border demarcation was close to reaching its conclusions, his speech this year will not address the issue of land borders that have been under intense fire since the recent visit of American mediator Amos Hockstein to Beirut. Government sources revealed that a decision has been taken not to address this file currently, and that the file is still in its infancy.


Lebanon is counting on side meetings

It is known that the United Nations General Assembly, which was established in 1945, is one of the main bodies in the United Nations for making public policy, and its role is limited to providing recommendations to member states regarding international issues that fall within its jurisdiction.

The General Assembly rarely takes decisions in its sessions, which are repeated in September of each year. Therefore, its meetings and what may come out of them are unreliable, as much as the heads of the participating delegations focus on the side meetings held on the sidelines of the General Assembly. Which has implications for public policy.

On the sidelines of the 78th session, the third meeting of the five-member group in charge of the Lebanese file will be held on Tuesday in New York, which includes (America, France, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Egypt). It will be held for the first time, according to diplomatic sources at the level of foreign ministers, and it is expected that an important statement will be issued at its conclusion, which may determine the path that the entitlement will take. presidential election in the coming weeks.

In this context, Lebanon looks forward to the General Assembly meetings to keep Lebanon on the international agenda, and as an opportunity during which both Mikati and Bouhabib will meet with the largest possible number of officials, whether through bilateral meetings or during celebrations that take place on the sidelines of the General Assembly with various titles and are also suitable for the heads of state to meet. Delegations and their assistants.

Government sources confirmed to "Independent Arabia" that Prime Minister Najib Mikati will hold a series of meetings and meetings according to previously determined dates, in addition to meetings that are being confirmed, and his advisors are active to secure the largest number of meetings with heads of state and delegations concerned with the Lebanese file. For his part, the Foreign Minister's work team also began preparing a schedule of bilateral meetings for Bouhabib with a number of his counterparts.


Three titles

The participation of countries in the General Assembly meetings also gains importance in terms of the speech that will be delivered by the president of each country, especially the active countries associated with hot and sensitive issues. One of the rare times that the speech of the President of Lebanon received the attention of countries participating in the work of the United Nations General Assembly was in 1974, when former President Suleiman Franjieh announced, on behalf of 19 Arab countries that are members of the United Nations, the priority and right of the Palestine issue among the Arabs.

Everyone is awaiting the speeches of the major countries and the important positions they will contain. A diplomatic source revealed that Lebanon is bringing with it to New York three main topics related to its internal situation. Regionally, the Lebanese delegation is expected to express its satisfaction with the Saudi-Iranian agreement and the importance of Syria’s return to the Arab League, from the standpoint of opening the door to finding solutions to the issue of displaced Syrians, and each of them will also stress that Mikati and Bouhabib stressed in their meetings the necessity of funding the UNRWA agency concerned with Palestinian refugees.


Does he attend the land border file?

The United States of America shows great interest in the issue of the land border between Lebanon and Israel, and the American mediator Amos Hochstein announced his country’s readiness to help address this issue along the lines of demarcating maritime borders.

Despite Mikati's sources confirming that the file will not be raised in New York, and that it is still in its infancy, many do not rule out that this issue will be raised in diplomatic corridors and in some bilateral meetings.

A series of developments have emerged in recent weeks that reflect Israeli enthusiasm to address the issue, matched by Lebanese hesitation. Last Tuesday, a meeting was held at the UNIFIL headquarters in southern Lebanon, headed by the Commander of the United Nations Force, Aroldo Lazaro, with the participation of a delegation of Lebanese army officers and a delegation from the Israeli side, which discussed the outstanding land points with Lebanon, including the “B1” point in Ras Naqoura.

While sources close to the Army Command confirmed that the tripartite meeting takes place periodically and that discussion of the 13 border points takes place at every meeting, the Army Command denied in a statement that the meeting had led to an agreement in this regard. This denial came indirectly in response to press leaks reported. The Israeli side informed the Lebanese representative, the government coordinator to the United Nations forces, Brigadier General Mounir Shehadeh, and the UNIFIL leadership in Naqoura on Tuesday, of Israel’s readiness to proceed with demarcating the entire land border with Lebanon and to withdraw from the northern part of the village of Ghajar in exchange for Hezbollah removing the two tents that it erected in the area. Shebaa Farms.

US envoy Amos Hockstein was quoted during his recent meetings in Beirut as saying that Tel Aviv is very interested in removing the two tents, and is willing to pay a price for that.

Political sources confirmed that Berri, Mikati, the army leadership, and Hezbollah were informed of the Israeli offer. It was learned that UNIFIL will follow up on communications in the coming days to clarify the possibility of developing a mechanism to speed up the search for the outstanding border points and the two Hezbollah tents.

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