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EU Ambassador Christina Lassen met today with Prime Minister Saad Hariri at his residence to discuss local and regional developments and EU-Lebanon relations.
Ambassador Lassen welcomed the Government's recent agreement on the 2019 national budget but requested more information and dialogue on the planned 2% import tax included in the draft budget. The Ambassador further welcomed plans for discussions on the 2020 budget to begin directly, embedded in an economy policy aligned with the objectives agreed at the CEDRE conference last year. Ambassador Lassen underlined: "The European Union welcomes the Government's commitment to the reduction of the deficit as well as structural reforms and continues to stand ready to support Lebanon in the implementation of the reform agenda. Anti-corruption and transparency measures are of particular importance to build the confidence of citizens and investors."
Ambassador Lassen expressed her condolences for the ISF and LAF personnel who lost their lives in last week's attack in Tripoli. She emphasized the importance of preserving Lebanon's stability and security amidst the challenges in the region and expressed concerns about recent tensions between refugees and Lebanese and highlighted the need for continued protection of vulnerable persons.
She hoped for positive developments in international talks concerning Lebanon's southern border and the timely deployment of the Model Regiment as agreed during the Rome II conference.