On her fourth visit to Lebanon as EU High Representative, Federica Mogherini emphasised the EU’s strong support to the country. She held meetings with President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil and the Speaker of the Parliament Nabih Berri.
“Lebanon is a reason for hope, not only for Lebanon, not only for the region, but for Europe and for the entire world. Because in such a complicated and conflictual region and part of the world, with such a difficult story, Lebanon is showing to the rest of the world that living together is possible, working together is bringing results,” said the EU Representative following her meeting with the Prime Minister Saad Hariri, adding “this is why we are so much encouraged by the work that Prime Minister Hariri and all his government are starting to do and I told him that he can count not only on my personal full support but also on the full support of the European Union in this difficult but exciting and very encouraging endeavour.”
She also underlined that the EU will continue to support Lebanon in its hosting of Syrian and Palestinian refugees. The EU has provided Lebanon with support worth EUR 1.1 billion since the start of the fighting in Syria. Before leaving Lebanon, the High Representative met with Syrian refugee children educated in a Lebanese public school and donated her recently-awarded 2016 Bonn International Prize for Democracy to the school, saying: “You are the best investment in democracy.”
“We will continue working together, trying to find political solutions to the crisis in Syria first of all, where I am confident that a political solution for a power-sharing and an inclusive system of governance can be found, and that could open the way for a different era, not only for Syria and for Syrians, including the refugees, but also for the neighbouring countries and the region,” she told the press at the end of her visit.
Mogherini and her Lebanese hosts also discussed the Middle East Peace Process and the hopes of finding a viable solution based on two States, and looked at ongoing EU-Lebanon cooperation on security, counter-terrorism and trade.
Mogherini’s remarks following her meeting with Prime Minister Saad Hariri
Mogherini’s opening remarks at the joint press conference with Gebran Bassil, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants of Lebanon
Council conclusions on Lebanon (16-01-2017)
EU Delegation to Lebanon – website and Facebook page
EU Neighbours – Lebanon