Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel affirmed Friday her country’s aim to boost economic ties with Lebanon, and keenness to make contributions to Beirut’s energy, waste, industrial, and commercial fields.
Merkel made her remarks during a joint press conference with Prime Minister-designate Saad Al-Hariri at the Grand Serail in Beirut in presence of prominent Lebanese and German businesspersons.
The CEDRE conference, which France hosted last April to support Lebanon’s development and reforms, provided an important platform for economic cooperation between the two nations, she said.
Lebanon must honor its commitments made at CEDRE to implement reforms in the country in order to attract German investments, added Merkel.
Germany would assist Lebanon with honoring some pledges made at CEDRE, she said, affirming Berlin’s commitment to support Beirut in the Syrian refugees issue.
Lebanon is a fine launching point for various activities in the region, Merkel said, reiterating her country’s commitment to continue providing support aimed to achieve stability in the region.
She also said the German government aspires to reach a political solution in Syria and secure the return of refugees to their homelands when the appropriate and safe circumstances become available.
Despite the difficult circumstances Lebanon is currently undergoing, it is still, yet, an example of peaceful coexistence between various religions, faiths, and ethnic backgrounds, noted Merkel.
For his part, Al-Hariri reiterated his country’s commitment to all reforms mentioned during CEDRE, noting that despite Lebanon’s considerable efforts; the Syrian displacement is far greater than the country’s capacity to withstand.
There is a need to continuously expand basic humanitarian assistance to include, in addition to the displaced, the host communities, he noted.
Al-Hariri also stressed the importance of implementing development projects aimed to improve the livelihoods of host communities, and providing job opportunities for the Lebanese families hosting displaced Syrians.
The permanent and only solution for the Syrian displacement crisis is to return to Syria in a safe and dignified manner, he said, affirming his country’s humanitarian duty to receive and host the Syrian refugees.
Source: Kuwait News Agency