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I wish to congratulate Prime Minister Saad Hariri for announcing the members of the new Lebanese Council of Ministers. This is another key moment towards the full functioning of State institutions in Lebanon that reflects the responsibility and openness for compromise shared by all parties and which are hallmarks of Lebanon's democratic tradition.
The Lebanese people expect all political actors to continue working with the same constructive spirit and in an atmosphere of national unity that reaffirms Lebanon's independence and sovereignty based on the Constitution and the Taef Agreement, as well as its continued commitment to all relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions and including UNSC 1701.
The Lebanese people and the international community have high expectations for the new government whose success will be determined by its capacity to address the major challenges it faces particularly by adopting the necessary institutional, economic and social measures. The next big step in this crucial transition phase for the country will be the holding of parliamentary elections.
The new government will have the task of ensuring a smooth and transparent process that strengthens further the democratic legitimacy of the country's institutions.
The European Union will continue to stand alongside Lebanon and the recently adopted EU-Lebanon partnership priorities and compact establish a new cooperation framework for the next four years. In a spirit of true partnership, the EU and Lebanon will therefore continue to work closely together, towards a stable, safe and democratic Lebanon and towards peace, security and prosperity for the whole region, faced with the many serious challenges the Middle East is facing, notably in Syria.