Lebanese President Michel Aoun received on Monday his Swiss counterpart, reiterating Beirut stance on several issues including the return of Palestinian and Syrian refugees.
In a joint press conference with visiting President of the Swiss Confederation, Alain Berset, at Baabda presidential Palace, President Aoun confirmed Lebanon’s commitment to the Arab peace initiative and the need to respect the rights of the Palestinian people, including their right of return to their homeland.
The President also affirmed Lebanon’s condemnation of the “National Religious Law” which had been endorsed by the Israeli Knesset, noting that the bill contradicted with the “historical path”.
“Lebanon refuses any attempt that tampers with the sanctity of Al-Quds and its unique humanitarian and religious entity,” Aoun said.
Aoun meanwhile, stressed Lebanon’s unwavering position vis-a-vis the return of Syrian refugees to the safe areas of their country. In this context, he voiced Lebanon’s support for the Russian initiatives to help facilitate the return of refugees to their homeland.
“I asked of the Swiss president to have his country side with Lebanon on this issue and not to link the refugees’ return to a political solution — which might take a long time to be reached,” Aoun concluded.
On the other hand, President Aoun expressed heartfelt pleasure welcoming the Swiss President and his wife, Aoun seizing the opportunity to thank Switzerland for its unyielding support for Lebanon.
“Switzerland has always sided with Lebanon and its just causes; it hosted two national dialogue conferences in support of Lebanon in Geneva in 1983 and in Lausanne in 1984,” Aoun said.
The President went on to say that he had briefed the Swiss President on Lebanon’s demand to become an international center for dialogue of religions and civilizations, National News Agency (NNA) reported.
“We discussed the importance of parliamentary elections, especially that they had been held for the first time on the basis of proportionality, and with the participation of immigrants of Lebanese origin, including the Lebanese people in Switzerland,” Aoun added.
Moreover, the President informed his Swiss guest about the most important “workshop” that awaited Lebanon, which is “the development of the national economic plan, the implementation of Cedre Conference, and the fight against corruption.