Caretaker Prime Minister, Hassan Diab, today welcomed at the Grand Serail, Mr. Joseph Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the European Union For Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission (EC), heading a delegation which included: the Head of Delegation of the European Union to Lebanon, Ambassador Ralph Tarraf, Mr. Pedro Serrano, Head of Borrell’s Cabinet, Mr. Carl Hallergard, Deputy Managing Director of North Africa, Middle East, Arab Peninsula, Iraq and Iran at the European External Action Service, Mr. Rafael Daerr, EC Member of Cabinet, Ms. Esther Orsini-Rosenberg, EC Communication Advisor, and Ms. Hannah Severin, Political Officer at the Delegation of the European Union to Lebanon, in the presence of Ministers Raoul Nehme and Ramzi Musharrafieh, as well as PM Advisor for Diplomatic Affairs, Ambassador Gebran Soufan. Premier Diab briefed the delegation on the difficulties that Lebanon is going through, namely on the financial and economic levels, especially since the delay in forming the government, as a result of political bickering, exacerbates the crises and increases the suffering of the people, hoping to speed up the approval of the draft ration card by the Parliament, which was previously sent by the government with securing its funding sources to support about 750 000 vulnerable families; PM Diab requested the European Union’s assistance in this regard.
Prime Minister Diab also stressed that the key solution to the financial, economic and living crisis lies in the formation of a new government that would resume the negotiations that the current government had started with the International Monetary Fund, and on the basis of the financial recovery plan developed by the government and that needs to be updated first. Diab added that the caretaker government did not fail to fulfill its duties, in accordance with the Constitution, to facilitate citizens’ lives and alleviate their suffering.
The Prime Minister also praised the bilateral relations and partnership between Lebanon and the European Union.
For his part, Borrell affirmed the European Union’s interest in taking stock at the prevailing situation in Lebanon, and examining the various governmental, economic and social challenges and their repercussions at all levels. He also expressed the European Union’s readiness to help Lebanon and its people in overcoming the difficult crises.