Caretaker Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants, Charbel Wehbe, on Friday met with his Greek counterpart, Nikos Dendias, in Athens, on the sidelines of the trilateral meeting between Lebanon, Greece, and Cyprus, which reportedly focused on strengthening trilateral political and economic cooperation – including the response to the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic and Lebanon-EU cooperation – as well as on regional developments.
Wehbe thanked the Greek government and people for their “sympathy and solidarity” with Lebanon in the wake of the devastating Beirut port blast.
Touching on the mounting challenges facing Lebanon in the wake of the explosion and in light of the dire economic crisis, Wehbe expressed hope that Lebanon would be able to learn from the Greek experience recovering from a massive economic meltdown.
“Lebanon looks forward to the tripartite summit in a bid to put all matters on the negotiating table,” Wehbe added, pointing out that discussions with his Greek and Cypriot counterparts, Dendias, and Nikos Christodoulides, have taken stock of common affairs at the tripartite security and stability levels, as well as the means to combat terrorism and curb the influx of refugees in the eastern Mediterranean.
“The challenges that we have been facing together in the eastern Mediterranean region are enormous, and they may affect Lebanon’s fate. Therefore, the country needs a radical treatment, not painkillers,” stressed Wehbe, hoping for the United Nations’ participation helping Lebanon out of this crisis.
“Lebanon has hosted more than 1.5 million Syrian refugees and approximately five hundred thousand Palestinian refugees since 1948. This burden endured by Lebanon cannot be compared to any other country in the world, and it requires the support of the entire international community. The two closest countries to Lebanon are Cyprus and Greece, and we must thank them for their understanding of Lebanon's situation,” Wehbe concluded.
For his part, Dendias said, "We would like to adopt a positive agenda in the region, and on such basis, we are forming tripartite and multilateral cooperation plans, based on mutual respect, common values, and possible areas of cooperation between Greece, Cyprus, and Lebanon.“
Source: National News Agency