NNA - President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, called on Britain to "assist in the return of displaced Syrians to their country, after large parts of it have become safe," praising "the United Kingdom's efforts in the field of development and its participation in the Cedre conference, the decisions of which will be implemented after the adoption of the budget."
Aoun stressed the importance of the initiative he has presented to the United Nations in order to establish the 'human academy for encounter and dialogue', adding that "only with culture and dialogue among peoples can peace prevail in the world."
President Aoun's remarks came during his meeting at Baabda Palace with Princess Sophie Helen Rhys-Jones, Countess of Wessex, accompanied by British Ambassador Chris Rampling, and a delegation.
Discussions touched on the current situation, as the delegation stressed the "continued support of the United Kingdom to Lebanon's government and army."
President Aoun stressed that "Lebanon's positions are clear on the issues of violence and terrorism, which we have fought militarily in the north and on the eastern border. We stand against terrorism and violence in general; we love peace and always seek to promote dialogue,"
He pointed to "the model that Lebanon represents in the world and the conviviality between its components; Muslims and Christianity living together under the existing system."
The President of the Republic referred to the issue of Syrian exodus, hoping "Britain will help Lebanon, along with other countries, to shoulder the burdens, after the number of displaced reached one and a half million," describing said burdens as "huge in proportion to the size of Lebanon.
Separately, President Aoun tackled cooperation between Lebanon and France with the President of the French Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur region, former minister Renaud Muselier, and an accompanying delegation, in the presence of French Ambassador Bruno Foucher.
Aoun thanked the attention that Lebanon receives from French officials, both at the state level as a whole and in municipalities through bilateral cooperation.
The President of the Republic briefed the French official on "Lebanon's position on the developments in the region," and discussed with him the file of displaced Syrians and the need for their repatriation.
Tackling the recent talks on Palestinian refugees' naturalization, the president reiterating his confirmation that such a move is utterly rejected, underling the "right of return and the need to find a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian cause."