Richard Moore, Director General for Political Affairs at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, called on Lebanese officials to speed up the formation of a new government.
In a visit to Beirut on Monday, Moore underlined the importance of accelerating the formation of a government to save the situation, but did not provide a specific British initiative in this regard.
The British envoy’s visit comes nearly two weeks after Christophe Farno, director of the Middle East and North Africa Department at the French Foreign Ministry, was dispatched by French President Emmanuel Macron to talk with officials in Beirut.
Moore met with President Michel Aoun, Speaker Nabih Berri, caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri and the LAF Commander, General Joseph Aoun.
Ministerial sources close to the presidential palace told Asharq Al-Awsat that the main objective of the visit was to explore the situation in Lebanon, “especially following the US-French-British tripartite meeting held last week and ahead of the next tripartite meeting next week.”
The British envoy reviewed recent communication over the government, and emphasized the need to speed up the formation process in order to overcome the current deadlock, according to the sources.
The sources added that Moore stressed the need for a “balanced cabinet,” adding that his country would be on Lebanon’s side with any government that would be able to implement reforms, especially the independence of the judiciary, and find solutions to the economic crisis.”
On the other hand, well-informed sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that Moore touched on attacks against demonstrators in downtown Beirut on Sunday evening, highlighting the importance of protecting the protesters and the freedom of opinion. He stressed the role of the security forces in this regard.