The United States congratulated Lebanon Monday on the election of President Michel Aoun. The election of Aoun, who was backed by Lebanese terror group Hezbollah, has brought to an end a two-year stalemate in which the post was empty, as Aoun was blocked by the Sunni-led Future Movement. A deal reached with the movement earlier this month will ensure that Saad Hariri, the Future Movement’s leader, will become Prime Minister, according to BBC.
“This is a moment of opportunity, as Lebanon emerges from years of political impasse, to restore government functions and build a more stable and prosperous future for all Lebanese citizens,” the State Department said.
Lebanon’s previous president, Michel Suleiman, finished his term in May 2014. Aoun, a Maronite Catholic, is currently the leader of the Free Patriotic Movement, the second largest party in the Lebanese parliament. Aoun served as an anti-Syrian commander of the Lebanese Army during the country’s civil war, which lasted from 1975 to 1990.
In response to Aoun’s election, the State Department said it will “look to all parties to uphold Lebanon’s international obligations, including those contained in UN Security Council Resolutions 1559 and 1701, which emphasize that there be no authority other than that of the Government in Lebanon.”
“The United States will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Lebanese people and support Lebanon’s independence, sovereignty, security, and stability.