BEIRUT: The European Union Wednesday reaffirmed its support for Lebanon's unity and sovereignty, days after Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his resignation from government in a speech from Saudi Arabia.
“Following Prime Minister Hariri's statement on 4 November 2017, the Ambassadors of the European Union in Lebanon reaffirm their strong support for the continued unity, stability, sovereignty, and security of Lebanon and its people," a statement from the EU said.
The statement added: "The EU Ambassadors call on all sides to pursue constructive dialogue and to build on the work achieved in the last 11 months towards strengthening Lebanon's institutions and preparing parliamentary elections in early 2018, in adherence with the Constitution."
Reiterating its enduring support for Lebanon, the statement highlighted the EU’s "ongoing commitment to stand by and assist Lebanon in the framework of the strong partnership to ensure the continued stability and economic recovery of the country."
Macron to visit UAE, discuss Lebanon upheaval
BEIRUT: French President Emmanuel Macron will discuss Lebanon's current situation during a visit to the United Arab Emirates scheduled for the end of the week, a local daily reported Wednesday.
“During his trip, [Macron] will have long discussions with Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed, a close ally of [Saudi] Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, and other prominent Arab leaders close to France,” An-Nahar said.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed is Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed al-Nayhan – with whom Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri met Tuesday during a fleeting visit to the emirate.
Hariri announced his resignation from the Lebanese premiership Saturday while in Riyadh, in a move that has sent shockwaves through Lebanon and the region.
The An-Nahar report added that it’s possible, during Macron’s trip, that “Paris will be vocal about its efforts to prevent internal strife [in Lebanon].”
Macron will also join Arab leaders at the inauguration of the new Louvre Abu Dhabi on Wednesday evening.
Aoun, World Bank talk Lebanon after Hariri exit
BEIRUT: President Michel Aoun discussed the situation in Lebanon with World Bank officials Wednesday, touching on concerns for the economic sector, days after Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s shock resignation.
A photograph of the meeting – which was attended by Parliament's Finance and Budget Committee head MP Ibrahim Kanaan – was posted to the president's Twitter account.
"There is support for Lebanon economically and financially, as well as an investment portfolio which exceeds $2 billion dollars," Kanaan said following the meeting.
Hariri announced his resignation Saturday while in Riyadh, sparking fears that the Lebanese pound and the economy would suffer. No signs have yet emerged to suggest that the Lebanese currency or banking sector have been adversely affected.
A senior official at Lebanon’s Central Bank told The Daily Star Saturday that the Lebanese banking sector was in an excellent position to weather pressure on the Lebanese pound.
Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh and Finance Ministry Ali Hasan Khalil have also reiterated that the Lebanese financial and banking sector remain unscathed.
Aoun will continue his meetings with officials and politicians Wednesday to continue discussions over the recent resignation of Hariri.