EU-Lebanon: New phase of intense cooperation
Brussels (5th March) - “Relations between Lebanon and the European Union are entering a new phase with an impressive intensity of bilateral contacts and cooperation,” Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle said during his talks with the President, Prime Minister and members of the Lebanese government in Beirut on Monday and Tuesday. “The EU considers Lebanon an important partner. Our relations are strong and our cooperation is developing positively" he added, noting that this cooperation is now guided by the New Action plan defining areas that the reform efforts of the Lebanese government and EU´s assistance focus on. "With the new Action Plan the EU is ready to accompany Lebanon in tackling its main challenges resulting from the need to continue with political, economic and social reforms. The EU supports holding the elections according to the constitutional requirements and in line with international standards. We also stand ready to further assist Lebanon in dealing with the impact of the Syrian refugee crisis and security issues" Commissioner Füle stressed. He highlighted that the Action Plan is based on priorities identified by the Lebanese government and drafted in a way that represents the most transparent, forward-looking and coherent document on the modernisation of Lebanon based on the shared principles and values, making the government more accountable to citizens.
Commissioner Füle also informed partners about the new financial assistance of €30 million to help Lebanese authorities and host communities cope with the far-reaching impacts of the refugees from Syria (see here separate press release).
During his 2-day visit to Beirut Commissioner Füle met with President Michel Sleiman, Prime Minister Najib Miqati, Minister of Foreign Affairs Adnane Mansour and Minister of Social Affairs Wael Abou Faour as well as representatives of the United Nations agencies, humanitarian partners and the civil society, which the EU considers an important partner in the dialogue based on European Neighbourhood Policy. He also visited the UNHCR and UNRWA in Beirut where he spoke to Syrian and Palestinian refugees fleeing the violence in Syria.
See remarks to the press at the end of the visit here.