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Calls for EU to open its markets to exports from Lebanon

March 27, 2018 at 11:51 am

President of Lebanon Michel Aoun, 2 February 2018 [Mohamemd Asad/Middle East Monitor]

Lebanese President Michel Aoun called for the European Union to open its markets to Lebanese exports, the Anadolu Agency reported yesterday.

During a meeting with the Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, Aoun said that the Lebanese government had launched a package of reforms and reinforced anti-corruption measures.

Lebanon faces economic hardships, mainly regarding exports. Local mass media reported Aoun saying that “the country is bankrupt”.

While speaking with Hahn, the Lebanese president discussed the issue of the Syrian refugees, “which has become an existential threat” as Lebanon is not able to continue hosting them for unlimited periods, he explained.

“The need for displaced Syrians to return to safe areas has become urgent as we are unable to wait until the achievement of a political solution to start their return.”

Read: Draft law in Lebanon allows women to grant citizenship to their children

For his part, Hahn hailed the increase of Lebanese exports, which he said meet the EU standards and specifications.

He also expressed his appreciation for Lebanon as it has hosted the Syrian refugees and recognised that the aid offered to the country in help it deal with this issue is not enough. He pledged to highlight this issue during the conference to be held in Brussels next month.

Belgium is to host a conference entitled “Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region” in Brussels on 24-25 April. The second of its kind.