President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, on Friday stepped up calls on the European Union to take encouraging stances in terms of facilitating the return of Syrian refugees to their country. The President said that security and stability have been established in most of the Syrian territories and that Syrian officials have welcomed and promised care for returning Syrians.
The President's words came before visiting Spanish Foreign Minister, Josep Borrell Fontelles, at Baabda Palace this afternoon.
Lebanon has so far secured the return of 194,000 Syrian refugees to their homeland. There were no reports of any harassment or maltreatment in Syria, Aoun maintained.
"Lebanon is looking forward to a change in the European position in terms of facilitating the return of Syrian refugees under the supervision of the international community, the President said in hopes of avoiding undesirable repercussions in case Lebanon is urged to take steps to organize the refugee return with the Syrian government.
Furthermore, Aoun noted the importance of Lebanese-Spanish bilateral relations at various levels and highlighted the need to strengthen them. He also thanked Spain's contribution to the international forces operating in the south of Lebanon within UNIFIL.
The direct flights between Beirut and Madrid have facilitated the linkage with South American countries, and the increasing flights between the two countries will most definitely have a positive impact on the tourism reality in Lebanon, he added.
Aoun also expressed his desire to have Spanish companies invest in Lebanon, especially in the second licensing round for the extraction of oil and gas.
For his part, the Spanish Minister lauded President Aoun's efforts to promote Lebanon on the economic, developmental, and social levels.
He stressed his country's solidarity with Lebanon on the issue of the Syrian refugees' return to their country.
"We deem the decisions and recommendations of CEDRE conference as a great opportunity for Lebanon, which demonstrates the confidence of the international community in Lebanon's potentials," the Spanish Foreign Minister added.
Source: National News Agency