| 15 April 2021, Thursday | النسخة العربية

Lebanon’s stability is paramount for the region: Egypt foreign minister

Sameh Shoukry, Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, said on Wednesday that Lebanon’s stability is paramount for the region as a whole, not only for the country itself.

Shoukry’s remarks were made following his meeting with Lebanese President Michel Aoun at the Baabda Palace.

“Egypt will continue to exert all efforts needed to communicate with all parties in order to end the current crisis,” the minister said, noting that he will hold a series of meetings with the various political parties in Lebanon to convey a message of solidarity and support from Egypt.

“Eight months after my last visit to Lebanon, political deadlock still remains in place and efforts are being exerted to form a technocrat cabinet capable of meeting the needs of the Lebanese and achieving stability, which is important for Lebanon, Egypt and the whole region,” he added.

During the meeting, President Aoun said “a way out of the current crisis consists in compliance with the constitutional rules and in cooperation with all Lebanese parties without any exclusion or discrimination.”

Shoukry also headed to Ain El-Tineh where he met with Speaker Nabih Berri, and he has arrived now in Bkirki to meet with Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rai.

Lebanon’s financial crisis, which erupted in 2019, has wiped out jobs, locked people out of their bank deposits and raised the risk of widespread hunger.

The crisis was compounded after a large explosion, caused by improperly stored ammonium nitrate, occurred at the Port of Beirut, prompting Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s government to step down. However, it has stayed on in a caretaker capacity until a new cabinet is formed.

But prime minister-designate Saad al-Hariri is at loggerheads with President Michel Aoun and has been unable to form a new government to carry out much needed reforms to unlock international aid since his nomination in October.