Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati met on Thursday with Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rai and stressed the need for unity among political factions, and called for serious efforts to elect a new president in the crisis-hit nation.
Mikati’s visit came after a statement issued by the Maronite Bishops Council that criticized the months-long failed efforts to form a new government.
After the meeting, Mikati said that “unity is crucial in these difficult circumstances, and in order to elect a new president” regardless of the opinions of political parties.
The tenure of President Michel Aoun ends on October 31.
“We must work seriously in order to elect a president in these difficult circumstances,” he emphasized.
On the formation of the government, Mikati said: "I told Patriarch Rai that I am the last one to talk about sectarianism in the government file. I believe in the unity of Lebanon and the building of the state. We must avoid any talk that leads to further divisions and discuss instead what brings us together," he added.