"Italy encourages the Lebanese political forces to reach an agreement on the presidential election and to elect a new president as soon as possible"; Italy's state television reported the country's Deputy Foreign Minister Lapo Pistelli saying yesterday.
Pistelli called to "support Lebanon and protect it from the risks of the Syrian war spillover." He warned of "shaking stability in Lebanon, which is a valuable and crucial entity in the Middle East region". "Lebanon's friendship with Italy is of a special kind, as we are Lebanon's first economic partner" he said.
Pistelli said that Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini will today discuss Italy's role in strengthening the Lebanese armed forces, which represents an example of coexistence between different political, religious and ethnic groups.
The Lebanese Parliament has failed during five previous sessions to elect a new president for the country, due to lack of quorum for the plenary session.
According to Lebanese law at least two-thirds of the House of Representatives' 128 members of parliament must attend the voting session to secure a quorum to elect a president of the Republic. If a candidate fails to secure two-thirds of the votes needed to win, a new ballot process takes place where the candidate needs at least 65 votes to win.