Lebanese President Michel Aoun has awarded the National Order of the Cedar to outgoing U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Jan Kubis.
President Aoun presented the Order (Knight) to Kubis during a farewell meeting on Monday afternoon, to honor him for his work as the U.N.’s envoy in Lebanon as he prepares to leave for his new mission in Libya.
The Order is usually awarded by the Lebanese president in recognition of great services rendered to Lebanon, for acts of courage and devotion of great moral value, or for years in public service.
President Aoun thanked the U.N. official “for everything he offered and gave for the benefit of Lebanon, which made him a friend to this country,” wishing him success with his new mission.
In return, Kubis expressed gratitude and “feelings of honor and affection” for the gesture, noting that his forthcoming departure from Lebanon was “unexpected” for him, ‘because my plan was to stay for a longer period.”
“However, matters are subject to circumstances and the need to move from one place to another, and therefore I have to leave, but my heart remains here,” the former Slovak Foreign Minister explained.
He also reaffirmed the U.N.’s continued support for Lebanon and noted that his deputy, Najad Rushdie, will be responsible for the operations of the organization until the appointment of a successor.