Lebanon’s President, General Michel Aoun, announced at a joint press conference with the President of the Republic of Austria, Alexander Van Der Bellen, that the meeting was an occasion in which he expressed Lebanon’s gratitude for Austria’s unyielding support to Lebanon’s just causes at European and international forums.
“I have tackled with the President of Austria the continuing Israeli threats against Lebanon, which have recently increased, and which are part of the continuous pressure exerted by ‘Israel’ on Lebanon as it continues to violate its sovereignty by land, sea and air,” Aoun said.
“We stressed the importance of uniting international efforts to combat terrorism. We also underscored the need to speed up the solution of the crisis of displaced Syrians; a solution that would contribute to their return to the safe areas without having to wait for a political solution to the Syrian crisis, especially that Lebanon can no longer shoulder this weighty burden,” the President said.
“We agreed on the necessity of activating our bilateral relations at all levels and developing mechanisms of cooperation in all fields so as to serve our common interests,” he said. “In this context, I welcome the delegation of businessmen accompanying the president, hoping for the Lebanese-Austrian economic forum success in facilitating investment opportunities.”
“The government was impeded which prompted (…) an initiative to secure the government formation, especially that the dangers are high. This initiative should succeed for if it does not, we will be facing a disaster,” Aoun said.
“Israel has relayed to us, through Washington, that it has no hostile intentions, and we, as well, have no hostile plans. So, there is no danger to peace,” he confirmed.
For his part, the President of Austria expressed his “appreciation for Lebanon’s hospitality towards displaced Syrians in spite of the difficult circumstances.”
“Austria and the EU support the UN initiative in Syria,” he noted.
The guest President also stressed that “the economic relations between our two countries are good and can be improved and strengthened,” uttering understanding of the political and economic situation and its impact on Lebanon.
“Despite the challenges surrounding you, Lebanon has succeeded in diversity, pluralism and democracy,” Bellen corroborated.