FOREIGN MINISTER, BELGIAN COUNTERPART DISCUSS ACTIVATION OF BILATERAL TIES

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants, Nassif Hitti, on Wednesday met with his Belgian counterpart, Philippe Goffin, with whom he discussed bilateral relations.

In the wake of the meeting, Minister Hitti said that he discussed with Goffin the economic crisis in Lebanon, noting that they have shared their views on solutions and the important role of the new government in the development of an economic rescue plan as soon as possible, before sharing it with donor countries and international institutions.

“We also discussed the means of strengthening the trade balance between Lebanon and Belgium, which is rather in favor of Belgium. Today, there is a need to consolidate local production and exports, as well as to change the economic system to a productive one, based on the sectors of agriculture and industry,” Hitti said.

The Minister added that he had also discussed with his counterpart political matters, most importantly the Deal of the century, which is refused by Arab and Islamic countries, and the Palestinian authorities and people.

Hitti insisted on the need to respect international resolutions and the Arab peace initiative, based on the two-state solution, with eastern Al-Quds as the capital of the Palestinian state, as well as the liberation of all occupied Arab lands.

Touching on the refugee crisis, Minister Hitti affirmed that this matter was of great importance for Lebanon and Europe, stressing Lebanon’s keenness on the return of Syrian refugees to the safe zones in their country.

Goffin, for his part, said his presence in Lebanon was a sign of support for the country and the necessary reforms that the government would carry out. According to him, “although these reforms are painful at first, they will be fruitful later.”

He said that his country supported reforms in Lebanon, in light of a program that could preserve confidence between the two countries, whose history is marked by a long friendship.

“Belgium assumed the presidency of the United Nations Security Council at its current session in early February, which will focus on raising three questions, namely transitional justice,” he added.

“Our countries have participated in international forums, and King Philip will chair the United Nations Security Council to recall the situation of children in armed conflict, and we urge Lebanon to sign the protocol on this subject,” he said.

Concerning the US peace plan, the Belgian minister reiterated the position of his country, according to which he is committed to the two-state-solution with respect for the international law.

In addition, Minister Hitti received the credentials of the new Italian ambassador to Lebanon, Nicoletta BobardiAre, to be later referred to President of the Republic, Michel Aoun.

Source: National News Agency

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