NNA – President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, received Vice President of the Federal Council and Swiss Foreign Minister, Mr. Ignazio Daniel Giovanni Cassis heading a delegation including Swiss representatives and officials of the Swiss Foreign Ministry.

Minister Cassis came to Lebanon to be briefed about the situation and humanitarian projects supported by Switzerland in various fields, especially after the explosion of the Beirut port, in addition to inspecting the conditions of displaced Syrians and Palestinian refugees.

The President thanked Minister Cassis for the Swiss assistance to Lebanon in various fields, and stressed the activation of cooperation between the two countries, noting in particular the support provided by Switzerland to a number of hospitals, including the Karantina Hospital, schools, the Lebanese Red Cross and Caritas.

Moreover, President Aoun stated the difficulties facing Lebanon economically, financially and socially, and the repercussions of the Syrian displacement on the various sectors in the country, calling for helping Lebanon secure the return of the displaced Syrians to their country, especially to the safe areas without awaiting a political solution, which may be delayed.

The meeting also addressed what Switzerland could offer to tackle the economic and financial situation that resulted from transferring funds abroad in mysterious circumstances.

In addition, the President reiterated the importance of completing the forensic financial audit, which would reveal many ambiguous issues.

For his side, the Swiss minister expressed happiness for visiting Beirut and inspecting the humanitarian projects that his country is taking care of, stressing Switzerland’s readiness to provide the necessary assistance in all social, economic and financial fields. Minister Cassis also expressed his appreciation to the Lebanese and for what they are doing to face the difficult conditions that their country is going through, pointing out that Switzerland works to accelerate the political solution in Syria and to return the displaced Syrians as soon as possible.

Then, the Swiss Foreign Minister stressed his country’s interest in finding a political solution to the governmental crisis in Lebanon and initiating the necessary reforms in order for the international community to provide the necessary aid for economic advancement, pointing to the many similarities between Lebanon and Switzerland.

The Swiss delegation included: Minister Cassis’s wife, Paola Rodoni Cassis, Swiss ambassador to Lebanon, Monika Schmutz Kirgoz, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Federation Council, Damian Muller, and a member of the committee, Ms. Andrea Elizabeth GMUR-Schonenberger, Chairman of the Department of the Middle East and Africa, Ambassador Maya Tissafi, advisor to Minister Cassis, Cedric Yannic Stucky, and a number of the staff of the Swiss Embassy in Beirut.

On the Lebanese side: former Minister, Salim Jreissati, Director General of the Presidency, Dr. Antoine Choucair, in addition to advisors: Brigadier General Boulos Matar, Rafic Chelala, Antoine Constantine and Osama Khashab.

Word in Golden Record:

Before his departure, Minister Cassis wrote the following word in the Golden Record:

“Mr. President, I extend my sincere thanks to you for receiving me and the accompanying delegation in Beirut, which has gone through many tests and was born again every time.

I can assure you of the solid friendship between Switzerland, Lebanon and both peoples. I wish you good health and happiness”.—Presidency Press Office


Source: National News Agency-Lebanon

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