Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, met today in Strasbourg with the President of Lebanon, Michel Aoun.
They exchanged views on bilateral relations and took stock of the long-term EU-Lebanon partnership. The High Representative emphasised the importance of a swift formation of a new Government in Lebanon to take forward economic and structural reforms for the benefit of the Lebanese people.
High Representative Mogherini and President Aoun also discussed regional issues, including challenges Lebanon continues to face hosting Syrian refugees, and the security situation in Lebanon’s direct neighbourhood. Mogherini commended Lebanon and Lebanese people generous efforts in hosting Syrian refugees and reiterated that the European Union believes all refugees have the right to go home once conditions for their safe, voluntary and dignified return are met.
The High Representative expressed strong support to the ongoing work of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees which is mandated to protect refugees and to promote durable solutions to their situation including voluntary repatriation. The High Representative also briefed President Aoun on the preparations for the EU-hosted side event on Syria during the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York later in September.
Finally, the High Representative reaffirmed the EU’s continuous support to the security sector in Lebanon and to the Lebanese Armed Forces. The High Representative and the President agreed on the importance of United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) role in maintaining peace and stability in the south of Lebanon.