Lebanon’s Judge Nawaf Salam elected president of the ICJ

Lebanon’s Judge Nawaf Salam was elected as President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Tuesday, the court said in a statement.

Salam has been a member of the ICJ since 2018. Prior to that, he was Beirut’s ambassador to the United Nations for ten years.

In a post on X, Salam said his election was a “major responsibility.” He added that the first thing that came to his mind was his concern for “my city, Beirut.” The newly elected president of the ICJ called on Lebanon to return to abiding by the rule of law and for justice to prevail among its people.

One of the biggest non-nuclear explosions in modern history rocked the Lebanese capital of Beirut in 2020. No one has been held accountable, and officials wanted by Lebanon’s courts refuse to show up for questioning.

In recent years, Salam’s name has been floated as a potential candidate to be Lebanon’s prime minister. But Iran-backed Hezbollah blocked his nomination, claiming that he was too close to Washington. Hezbollah has also been opposed to Salam for his previous advocacy of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, which held Hezbollah members responsible for the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese premier Rafik Hariri.

Nabil Bou Monsef, deputy editor-in-chief of Lebanon’s Annahar newspaper, called Salam a great friend. “You make us proud… in the time of our miserable collapse,” Bou Monsef said in a post on X, referring to the unprecedented socioeconomic catastrophe in Lebanon.

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