UN Special Coordinator Jan Kubis Remarks after Meeting Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil

I am very glad that his Excellency received me before my travel to New York for my first meeting with the Security Council in my current capacity as the Special Coordinator.


We discussed a number of topics, he gave me a number of messages: One, the issues related to different violations of Resolution 1701 by Israel and the need to deal with them more robustly, by the United Nations, not to try to just focus on one side but indeed to look at both sides what they are doing and what they should not. That is one very clear message.


The second message was about the issue of Syrian refugees and the need to return them back to Syria, to create all the necessary conditions. Of course I made, and that was well understood by his Excellency, reference to the International Humanitarian Law and the norms that are regulating this, but I also confirm that there is an absolute consensus here in the country that there is a need to see real, rapid, tangible manifestation of efforts to return Syrian refugees back home as soon as possible. Their presence creates issues and problems here in the country and there is almost political consensus on this topic here in the country.


The third point was the issue of the terrestrial and maritime borders with Israel, and the need to accelerate work on this and again His Excellency confirmed clear interest in the UN playing a certain role, facilitating role, in this exercise.


These were the three main areas, three main messages. I am very glad that I had this meeting with His Excellency and that will inform very much my discussions also in New York with the Security Council.


Thank you very much.