President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, met the European Union’s Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process, Mr. Sven Koopmans, today at the Presidential Palace.
European Union Ambassador to Lebanon, Ralph Tarraf, also attended the meeting.
President Aoun told Mr. Koopmans that “Lebanon supports any European move to revive the peace process in the Middle East, based on the Arab Peace Initiative which was adopted by the Beirut Summit in 2002”.
The President also noted that “Any sustainable solution to the Middle East crisis begins with putting an end to the suffering of the brotherly Palestinian people that has been occurring for 74 years. The solution is just, lasting and comprehensive, based on the principle of two states and the implementation of international legitimacy resolutions”.
Moreover, President Aoun considered that Israel’s attempts to change the situation and persist in its expansionist settlement policies do not help at all in any attempt to revive peace negotiations, which is a flagrant violation of international law.
“The latest infringements on the sanctity of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the attacks on worshipers in it are the best evidence of the aggressive Israeli intentions” President Aoun said.
In addition, the President pointed out that “Lebanon, which has paid dearly and continues to pay the price of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, also believes that the continuation of occupied parts of its lands does not help at all to discuss any peace process before the withdrawal of the Israelis from the occupied Lebanese territories. Lebanon welcomes any European role in helping to achieve the Israeli withdrawal from its lands”.
On the other hand, President Aoun stressed the continuation of contacts to demarcate the southern maritime borders in a way that preserves Lebanon’s rights to obtain all of its oil and gas wealth.
Finally, the President raised the issue of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon and the need for the European Union countries to facilitate their return to Syria and provide them with assistance there; pointing out that Lebanon can no longer bear the negative repercussions of this displacement.