Beyrouth, 21 March 2016
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My visit to Lebanon is a visit that is very important for the European Union. We have a strong partnership and a long friendship and we both are working hard in these very difficult times for our region. I say our region because we share the region, starting from the security situation, the threats that are posed to Lebanon but also to the all of the Mediterranean and Europe. We discussed with the Prime Minister common intentions to strengthen our cooperation on counter-terrorism and also the European Union's support to the armed forces of the country that are a key institution for Lebanon and for the security also of the Europeans.
We discussed the political support the European Union can give to the functioning of the state institutions in difficult times, the need to elect the President, the need to have a working Parliament, the need to coordinate well the work of the Council of Ministers and also heading to local elections soon, to strengthen the resilience of the country in these difficult times and of the Lebanese people that are living in very difficult times from all point of views.
We also discussed regional challenges we share: we sit together in the International Support Group for Syria and we exchanged views with the Prime Minister on the perspectives of the talks in Geneva, the need to build a process that can allow Syria to get out of the civil war and find humanitarian assistance for the Syrian population inside the country, cessations of hostilities, consolidating Syria from inside and political transition that can consolidate the political track that is happening in Geneva. And we know that we can partner with Lebanon in this respect.
We discussed about how we can help each other in managing the immense refugee crisis we are both facing. We have agreed from the European Union's side to increase the support to Lebanon that has been significant so far, very substantial. We have agreed in London just one month ago to increase that support, so we are already working to implement different projects, different types of financial support. I will visit myself this afternoon a project and a refugee camp and also a school.
Investing a lot in this means for us making Lebanon more resilient, stronger. This is a key interest for the European Union, out of our friendship but also out of the fact that we share the same agenda. And again, it’s a strong partnership, it’s a strong friendship. In difficult times, you test the friendship even more; and we know that here we have not only an interlocutor and a strong friend, we hope to have a strong partner. This is our intention: to work together hand in hand to make sure that Lebanon manages to cross these difficult times together with the European Union and to reinforce each other.
Link to the video: HRVP Federica MOGHERINI travels to Lebanon