President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, met Information Minister, Ziad al-Makari, and discussed with him the general situation in the country and the recent political and economic developments, in addition to the conditions of the Ministry of Information and its affiliated institutions.
World Bank delegation:
President Aoun received the Vice President of the World Bank for the Middle East and North Africa, Mr. Ferid Belhadj, and the Regional Director of the Middle East Department at the World Bank, Mr. Jean-Christophe Carré.
The existing cooperation between the Lebanese government and the World Bank was tackled during the meeting.
Mr. Belhaj pointed out, “He was in Lebanon at the beginning of the era of President Aoun, and today he is also in Lebanon at the end of the era” revealing the soft loans provided by the World Bank to Lebanon, especially after the explosion of the Port of Beirut and the Corona pandemic, where Lebanon was the first country receiving aid from the Bank to secure a vaccine against the pandemic.
The World Bank’s contributions also included financing food aid and in the areas of sustainable development and nutrition.
Belhadj also pointed out that international cooperation is important to serve the developments that will occur after the demarcation of the southern maritime borders, and the start of exploration for gas and oil in the Lebanese maritime fields and the southern exclusive economic zone.
For his part, the President thanked Mr. Belhadj for the attention that the World Bank has always shown to Lebanon’s needs, considering that a new economic phase will be experienced by Lebanon after starting to explore for oil and gas, and investing its natural wealth.
In addition, President Aoun considered that the support of the World Bank is a sign of confidence in Lebanon, despite the difficult economic and financial conditions it is going through.
The meeting was attended by the World Bank delegation, former Minister Salim Jreissati, General Director of the Presidency of the Republic, Dr. Antoine Choucair, and advisors Antoine Constantine and Osama Khashab.
The President received the Japanese Ambassador to Lebanon, Mr. Takeshi Okubo, on a farewell visit, to mark the end of his diplomatic missions, three years after he assumed the presidency of the Japanese diplomatic mission.
President Aoun praised the efforts made by Ambassador Okubo in strengthening the Lebanese-Japanese relations, and the assistance that he contributed to securing during the difficult circumstances that Lebanon experienced in the last three years.
In appreciation of Ambassador Okubo’spresentation, President Aoun awarded him the National Cedar Medal at the rank of Senior Officer.
For his side, Ambassador Okubo thanked the President for his initiative, stressing the strength of the Lebanese-Japanese relations, and the keenness to develop them in all fields.