President Michel Aoun has arrived in Strasbourg accompanied by First Lady Nadia al-Chami Aoun, upon the official invitation of President of the European Union's Parliament, Antonio Tajani.
President Aoun is accompanied by a political, administrative, security and media delegation.
Aoun will deliver a speech in the opening meeting of the EU Parliament's ordinary session for 2018-2019 tomorrow, and will meet with the senior European officials over the bilateral ties between Lebanon and the EU, as well as the current regional and international situation.
Moreover, the President will meet with the Lebanese Diaspora in Strasbourg and the neighboring cities.
Greeting the President and his accompanying delegation upon arrival at the Strasbourg International Airport had been European Parliament's Protocol Director, Carmen Castillo, Lebanon's Ambassador to Brussels, Fadi Hajj Ali, and Lebanon's Ambassador to France, Rami Adwan.
Shortly upon his arrival in Strasbourg, the President said Lebanon and Europe enjoy a historical and geographical partnership dating back several centuries, sharing the same values of democracy and respect for diversity, in addition to the adoption of dialogue "as a mean to reach common denominators for the sake of peace between nations and peoples."
"The EU and Lebanon have close economic ties under their partnership Agreement, which came into force in April 2006," Aoun maintained, adding that this partnership is based on shared values and interests and includes regular political, security, economic and social dialogue.
Aoun also brought to attention the EU's continuous support to Lebanon in the various main junctures, considering "Lebanon as one of the most important elements of regional stability."
In a chat with the press on his flight to the French city of Strasbourg, Aoun said that his address at the EU Parliament's meeting shall dwell on the Lebanese-European relations. Aoun also said that his talks with European officials shall touch on the displaced Syrians' dossier and the issue of the US administration's decision to suspend the UNRWA funding.
Turning to the issue of the government formation process, Aoun rebuffed responsibility for hindering the formation of a new Cabinet. He said "once the Cabinet formula is balanced, the formation of the government will take place according to the criteria and principles cited in my speech last August 1."
The head of state also stressed: "it is not permissible for any side or sect to monopolize representation or marginalize any group for the benefit of another."
Source: National News Agency