President Aoun meets with EU officials, Mogherini reveals a meeting in New York to discuss return of the displaced

President of the Republic, Michel Aoun, pursued his meetings at the headquarters of the European Parliament in Strasbourg this afternoon, whereby he met in the presence of the European and Lebanese delegation members with EU Commissioner for Foreign Policy Federica Mogherini, with talks centering on regional developments and the Lebanese-EU bilateral relations.

During the meeting, President Aoun stressed that "Lebanon succeeded in reaching many political and security achievements, while the subject of the Syrian refugees remains amongst its pressing issues, causing repercussions on various political, economic, financial, social and security levels."

"The return of the displaced has become a dire necessity for Lebanon, especially as groups of them leave gradually to the stable areas of Syria, and other groups are also preparing to leave," he said.

Praising the assistance provided by the European Union to Lebanon, Aoun underlined the need to help in securing the return of displaced Syrians to their country. "It is not permissible to wait for a political solution to the Syrian crisis to resolve the issue of the return of refugees to the safe areas in their country, because this could be delayed," he emphasized, pointing to the experiences of Cyprus and Palestine in this context.

Aoun then referred to the recent parliamentary elections in Lebanon, and the achieved results in terms of consolidating democracy and parliamentary life in the country. He also indicated that "contacts are ongoing to form a new government soon."

In turn, Mogherini commended "the existing cooperation between Lebanon and the European Union, which is always ready to help Lebanon in various fields."

She indicated that the EU is cautiously dealing with the issue of the return of the displaced, pending more clarity on the military scene in Syria.

Mogherini considered that "there are areas that are still in danger [in Syria], as a result of the confrontations that take place there."

"A European meeting will be held at the ministerial level on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York to discuss the issue of the return of the displaced," she disclosed, hoping that President Aoun would partake in the conference, which will also be attended by concerned countries that had previously participated in the Brussels meetings.

Mogherini stressed that "the presence of President Aoun in Strasbourg is important, and that the message he sent through the European platform has reached, and the European support for Lebanon is strong and will continue."

Source: National News Agency