President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, met the Head of the European Union’s Military Committee, General Claudio Graziano, today (Thursday) at the Presidential Palace.
The President told General Graziano that “Lebanon welcomes any support provided by the European Union to help overcome the difficult economic and living conditions which the Lebanese are going through, due to accumulated crises witnessed by Lebanon during the past years”.
“Crises started with the exacerbation of the effects of the Syrian war, closure of land crossings towards the vital depth of Lebanon and the repercussions of the displacement of more than 1.8 million displaced Syrians, in addition to the financial and economic crisis, Corona virus repercussions, reaching the Beirut Port explosion” President Aoun stated.
Moreover, the President referred to the current situation of Lebanese security institutions, foremost of which is the Lebanese Army, and the impact of the crisis on nutrition, medical care, operational tasks and maintenance mechanisms. President Aoun called on the EU to help Lebanon in this field due to the important role played by the Army in helping stabilize internal and border security, in cooperation with UNIFIL international forces.
In addition, President Aoun thanked General Graziano for the assistance provided by EU countries and the conferences held for this purpose, pointing out that Lebanon’s security and stability are important to Europe’s stability as well.
The President also focused on the importance of the European Union’s assistance to return displaced Syrians to their country, especially to areas which have become safe, and to provide aid to them there, “Because the continuation of its distribution to them in Lebanon delays this return, knowing that Lebanon is no longer able to bear more of the cost which annually exceeds 5 billion US dollars”.
The President renewed Lebanese commitment to international resolutions, especially Resolution 1701, considering that “What occurs from time to time on southern borders remains confined to narrow frameworks which do not exceed the rules of engagement, adopted since 2006”.
Finally, President Aoun conveyed his greetings to EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Mr. Josip Borrell, who visited Lebanon last June.
For his part, General Graziano expressed his happiness to visit Lebanon, where he had previously assumed the command of UNIFIL between 2007 and 2010. Graziano pointed out that the goal is to clearly see the situation, especially security issues, and to provide support for the Lebanese Army in these difficult circumstances which Lebanon passes through.
General Graziano also affirmed EU readiness to provide more support to Lebanon, emphasizing the importance of stability in Lebanon and the implementation of international resolutions related to Lebanon. Graziano also stressed the importance of maintaining Lebanese stability, in general, and stability in southern Lebanon in particular.