Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, is visiting Lebanon from July 23 to 24. This visit will provide an opportunity to deliver a two-fold message: a message underscoring our expectations of the authorities; a message of solidarity with the Lebanese people.
Jean-Yves Le Drian will be received by Michel Aoun, President of Lebanon, Hassan Diab, President of the Council of Ministers, and Nabih Berry, Speaker of Parliament. He will meet with his counterpart, Nassif Hitti. During these meetings, the minister will stress the urgent need to ensure the effective implementation of the economic, social and political reforms expected by the Lebanese people for several months now. In the face of the crisis, the commitments undertaken by the Lebanese authorities must be translated into concrete action. This is the condition for the mobilization of France and the international community. It is also a necessary condition in order to respond to the legitimate aspirations of the Lebanese people and to re-establish the trust of Lebanon’s partners.
The minister will meet with key figures from Lebanese civil society. He will visit two health facilities supported by France, as well as a school that symbolizes France’s support for French language education in Lebanon. Jean-Yves Le Drian will underscore France’s support for the Lebanese people in order to help the country respond to all of the challenges it is facing. This support was notably reflected, in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, by the delivery of medical equipment. It is also reflected by humanitarian action in support of the most vulnerable populations, as well as support for French and French language schools, in support of the young people who embody the country’s future. With respect to this last point, the minister will announce a significant increase in France’s support for French and French language education in Lebanon, as part of the emergency plan for French education abroad and the mobilization in support of the educational network of Christian communities in the region.
The minister will reaffirm France’s attachment to preserving Lebanon’s disassociation from regional crises, a prerequisite for the stability of the country and the region. France will reiterate its support for the work of UNIFIL and its call for full compliance with the decisions of the UN Security Council, notably resolutions 1559 and 1701.