Hariri: Europeans and the Arabs are partners in protecting our countries from dangers of terrorism and extremism

The President of the Council of Ministers Saad Hariri said that the Europeans and the Arabs “are partners in promoting the culture of pluralism, dialogue among civilizations and the culture of interfaith coexistence and integration. We are partners in protecting our countries from the dangers of terrorism and extremism.”

He stressed Lebanon’s adherence to pluralism because its opposite is isolation that leads to extremism and terrorism. He said: “We are committed to moderation and the defense of democracy, human rights and freedoms.”

In a speech he pronounced in the EU-League of Arab States Summit closed session, Hariri praised the Europeans and Arabs for always being alongside Lebanon and affirming their support for the Lebanese government’s vision of stability and growth.

This is the speech of Prime Minister Hariri:

“First I would like to express my thanks and appreciation to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Egypt for hosting this first EU-League of Arab States Summit and for the hospitality and good organization. I also laud the efforts of the European Union to strengthen the bonds of partnership and dialogue with the Arab world. History does not have one face, but several faces drawn by events and variables. Europe and the Arab world have a history of shared destinies, conflicts and friendships.

A history full of cultural, educational and human interaction. We in Lebanon see our country as an advanced model of this interaction with all its cultural, pluralistic and economic implications. We always considered ourselves the gateway of Arabs to the European continent and the gateway of Europe to the Arab world. We look forward to always playing this role and being a distinctive sign of the Arab – European integration.

The summit that brings us together today mounts to be a basis for re-establishing the partnership and achieving deep reconciliation around the concepts that our countries and societies gather around.

We are partners in promoting the culture of pluralism, dialogue among civilizations and the culture of interfaith coexistence and integration.

We are partners in cooperating to protect our countries from the dangers of terrorism and extremism.

We are partners in finding solutions to migration problems and their economic, social and security implications.

We are partners in trade exchange, investment activities and benefiting from the experiences of our young men and women in modernization and development.

We are partners in continuous coordination and communication to achieve a just and lasting peace in the Middle East and to lift the historic injustice inflicted on the Palestinian people.

We in Lebanon adhere to pluralism and call for its protection on both sides of the Mediterranean because its opposite is isolation that leads to extremism and terrorism.

We in Lebanon are committed to moderation that was our way in the face of crises, terrorism, strife and chaos. We will continue our struggle to defend democracy, human rights and freedoms, and in our endeavor to modernize our laws in this field.

We in Lebanon host nearly two million displaced people and refugees mostly displaced people fleeing Syria.

We put all our capabilities to solve this crisis, and we call for increasing the international efforts to ensure the safe and dignified return of displaced Syrians to their country, in accordance with the international principles and laws, in a manner that ensures respect of the sovereignty and laws of the host countries.

We highly appreciate the European assistance to the host countries and call for increasing it. We also call on the international community to recognize the danger of ending the funding of UNRWA and its negative repercussions not only on Lebanon but on the region as a whole.

The European Union, just like the Arab brothers, has always been by Lebanon’s side, especially during the pivotal periods, most recently during the CEDRE conference, where they confirmed their support for the vision of the Lebanese government for stability, growth and employment.

We started implementing this vision and we are determined to move forward with all reforms, develop the laws and improve the work environment. We look forward to have you all as active partners, governments and private sector.

Lebanon will witness in the next period a real economic and investment renaissance, and I invite you all to visit our country and examine closely the promising opportunities in it.

Finally, I thank you all for this opportunity and wish our summit success, because our destiny as Arabs and Europeans is to meet and be partners. This is what geography says, and this is what history wrote.”

On the other hand, Hariri met today with the Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister of Greece Alexis Tsipras and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Source: National News Agency