BASSIL: "This visit renewing the UK support for a strong, stable and prosperous Lebanon.
BURT: "My visit came at a critical timing, following the British government's ban on Hezbollah"
06 Mar 2019
Lebanon - Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil met at his office Wednesday, with UK Minister of State for the Middle East at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Minister of State at the Department for International Development, Alistair Burt, accompanied by British Ambassador to Lebanon Chris Rampling.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Burt said that his visit aimed to offer felicitations on the formation of the new government, renewing the UK support for a strong, stable and prosperous Lebanon.
He added that his visit came at a critical timing, following the British government's ban on Hezbollah.
Accordingly, he indicated that this decision was simply taken because it has become hard to tell apart Hezbollah's political and military wings.
He however maintained that this decision would not affect the UK commitment towards Lebanon and the Lebanese.
"I want our support for Lebanon to continue," Burt underlined, adding that there must be no delusion regarding UK strong concern about Hezbollah's acts which, according to the official, threaten stability.
Moreover, he highlighted the necessity to conclude trade agreements between the UK and Lebanon.
Burt also indicated that during his meetings, he will focus on the Syrian refugee issue, welcoming any initiative aiming to secure refugees' safe and voluntary repatriation.