The members of the International Support Group (ISG) for Lebanon in a joint statement on Wednesday called on the country’s leaders to show unity to allow the timely formation of a new government that would be able to meet the legitimate aspirations of the Lebanese people.

“Members of the ISG urged Lebanon’s leaders to unite in support of the timely formation of a government able to meet the legitimate aspirations expressed by the Lebanese people and committed to addressing Lebanon’s multiple and acute challenges, notably its humanitarian, socio-economic and financial crises, the COVID-19 pandemic, the reconstruction of Beirut and the restoration of Beirut’s heritage and historical buildings”, the statement said.

Earlier on Wednesday, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, the ISG held a virtual ministerial meeting co-chaired by the organisation’s Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian.

Mustafa Adib, who was appointed Lebanon’s prime minister in late August, has not yet been able to present a new cabinet, despite the conditions of French President Emmanuel Macron, under which a new government was to be formed in Lebanon by 14 September.

If this condition is met, Macron pledged to hold a conference on aid to Lebanon in Paris in October. The process of forming a government has become more difficult after the United States imposed new unilateral sanctions against two former Lebanese ministers, whom the US administration has accused of being connected with the Shiite movement Hezbollah.

The Hassan Diab government stepped down shortly after a devastating explosion in the Beirut port on 4 August killed at least 190 people and injured over 5,000 others. According to the Lebanese authorities, the explosion was caused by improper storage of 2,750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate.

The ISG also urged Lebanese political leaders to undertake critical reforms that would address the issues the country is currently facing and restore economic stability, improve the delivery of public goods and the credibility of the financial sector, the statement said.

It added that the ISG members asked the government to implement measures to fight corruption, tax evasions and undertake other measures ensuring substantial changes, transparency and full accountability to the Lebanese people.

The ISG, comprised of the United Nations, the European Union, the Arab League, China, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States, was set up in 2013 to help mobilize support for Lebanon.

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