AOUN Calls on Washington to Facilitate The Return of The Displaced
10 Sep 2019
Lebanon - President Michel Aoun told US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker, whom he received earlier this morning at Baabda Palace, that "Lebanon hopes the United States would resume its mediation to reach the demarcation of land and sea borders in the South, where it had stopped with Ambassador David Satterfield, especially that few points remain in terms of negotiations."
President Aoun reiterated "Lebanon's commitment to Security Council Resolution 1701, while Israel does not stop its aggression against Lebanese sovereignty."
Any Israeli escalation will destabilize the border area," he warned.
Touching on the Syrian Refugees case, Aoun told the US official that "Lebanon continues to facilitate the return of displaced Syrians and the number of voluntary returnees has reached 352,000."
In this context, he called on the United States to "help Lebanon facilitate the return of the displaced, especially as Lebanon can no longer bear the consequences of the Syrian displacement at all levels."
"The United Nations and other humanitarian agencies must provide assistance to displaced people in Syria to help them return to their villages and lands," he added.
President Aoun expressed concern that "the Syrian refugee file has become a political issue rather than a humanitarian one."
For his part, Schenker informed President Aoun of the US support for Lebanon's stability, stressing "his readiness to strengthen bilateral relations and activate them in all areas, especially in terms of supporting the Lebanese Army and other security forces."
He also confirmed his country's readiness to "resume its efforts to demarcate the land and sea borders in southern Lebanon."
BERRI Meets Schenker, Says Enemy is Responsible for Violations, Undermining Stability
10 Sep 2019
Lebanon - House Speaker Nabih Berri met this afternoon with US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, David Schenker, who visited him at Ain al-Tineh Palace accompanied by US Ambassador Elizabeth Richard and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Joel Rayburn.
During the course of discussions, Speaker Berri emphasized that "Lebanon has ratified financial laws that render it in conformity with the highest international standards, namely in the fight against money smuggling and money laundering." "However, the Lebanese economy and banking sector cannot bear this magnitude of pressure," he said.
"Lebanon is keen on maintaining stability and not being dragged into war, alongside its commitment to international resolutions especially #1701," Berri underlined.
"The Israeli enemy is responsible for breaching the UN resolution and undermining the stability that has been in place since 2006," he asserted.
Talks then dwelt on the issue of maritime borders.
Earlier, the House Speaker reviewed the country's prevailing financial and economic conditions with Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh, Budget Commission Head, MP Ibrahim Kanaan, and Banking Association Head Selim Sfeir.
Among the Speakers' interlocutors for today was also Maronite General Council Head, former Minister Wadih al-Khazen, and members of the Council's Executive Committee.
On emerging, al-Khazen said: "It was an occasion to listen to the Speaker's opinion on local issues and thank him for his efforts to preserve the atmosphere of internal solidarity among all political authorities, which yielded a positive outcome under these delicate economic and daily living conditions."
He added: "The Speaker reassured us that nothing is insolvable as long as it is subject to the articles of the constitution and the national charter that we all agreed to following the Taef Accord."
Al-Khazen went on to highlight Speaker Berri's "commitment to the country's coexistence formula; thus, attaching great importance to the spirit of true partnership as stipulated in the Taef, i.e. the true equality between Christians and Muslims."
He hoped that the distinguished relations that exist between Speaker Berri and President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Saad Hariri would take path towards liberation from all obstacles, lest they negatively impact the country's life and economic conditions.
"Today, everyone is faced with the opportunity to reconnect and re-patch what has been lost through dialogue and deliberation, and building a bridge of trust that supports the recognition of the logic of balance that has been lost," al-Khazen concluded.