Lebanese urged to exercise "maximum restraint" amid street protests

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Sigrid Kaag. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

A call for maximum restraint and political accountability amid anti-government street rallies in Lebanon has been made by the UN envoy to the country.

Sigrid Kaag expressed concern over reports of violence and the destruction of public property following citizens' demands on Sunday for basic services and an effective functioning Government.

Maria Carlino reports.

UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Sigrid Kaag expressed deep regret over the death of one protester and the number of people injured during anti-government demonstrations in Beirut that began on Saturday.

She called on all sides to exercise "maximum restraint" and urged the cabinet to resolve the crisis as quickly as possible.

Ms Kaag also expressed strong support for the efforts of Prime Minister Taman Salam to promote political consensus and said "Lebanon's leaders must act in the national interest, especially at this critical time".

She also warned that further stagnation would harm the economy and ultimately erode the country's stability and security.

Since taking office last year, Mr Salam's unity government has been hamstrung by political and sectarian rivalries that have been exacerbated by the war in neighbouring Syria.

Maria Carlino, United Nations.

Duration: 52″

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