(UPDATE) Bassil from Rome: I ask of you to help Lebanon cast off those who interfere in its affairs

In his speech on Friday during the opening of the fifth edition of the Euro-Mediterranean dialogue in Rome, Caretaker Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, Gebran Bassil, stressed Lebanon's wish to be a bridge between the East and the West. "Leb...

In his speech on Friday during the opening of the fifth edition of the Euro-Mediterranean dialogue in Rome, Caretaker Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, Gebran Bassil, stressed Lebanon's wish to be a bridge between the East and the West.

"Lebanon, with its centered location, is at the heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict, as well as the Arab-Persian one, yet we want it to be a base for fair solutions," Bassil said.

He went on to regret that regional crises and wars only bogged Lebanon down in deeper misfortunes. "Lebanon has paid the price for permanent conflicts, as well as that of Palestinian asylum and Syrian displacement," Bassil added, shedding light on the fact that many Lebanese have lost their jobs to foreign workers.

"The prevailing chaos in Lebanon, which some abroad have prepared for, will be the ruin of the country (..).The result will be an imbalance on the internal scene, yet Lebanon does not want any more divisions," Bassil maintained.

"I ask of you today to help Lebanon cast off those who interfere in its affairs in order to give the country the opportunity to help itself to remain alive and to be an example of coexistence," Bassil implored.

"The saying goes in our country: 'if your neighbor is fine, then you are fine'. Pay attention, because our eastern Mediterranean is not fine and has many problems. Building peace only happens through dialogue and development," Bassil concluded.

The Caretaker Foreign Minister arrived in Rome on Friday to partake in the inauguration of the fifth edition of the Euro-Mediterranean Dialogue.

Bassil kicked off his Rome visit by meeting with Italian counterpart, Luigi Di Maio, with whom he discussed Lebanese-Italian bilateral relations.

The pair agreed on the need strengthen ties between both countries in all fields, especially on the economic level whilst facing the dire financial and economic crisis that Lebanon currently endures.

Later during the day, and on the sidelines of the Euro-Mediterranean Dialogue Conference, Bassil held a series of talks with a number of foreign ministers, including Turkish counterpart, Mevlut ?avusoglu.

Talks between both men reportedly touched on the overall situation in Lebanon and the Middle East region, as well as on the impact of the conflicts taking place in the region on both countries. Means of bolstering regional cooperation to confront the Syrian refugee crisis also featured high between the pair.

It is to note that Bassil's participation in the Euro-Mediterranean Dialogue Conference affirms Lebanon's role in the Euro-Mediterranean partnership, which tackles common issues, most notably environmental and economic cooperation, confronting immigration and unemployment problems among the youth, the role of women, development prospects, and popularizing a culture of peace among Mediterranean countries.

In more than one of his meetings in Rome, Bassil stressed the need to establish a Palestinian state and to hold a Saudi-Iranian dialogue.

Source: National News Agency