PM Mikati hails Egypt’s 'sincere efforts' to mobilise international support for Lebanon

Ahram Online , Thursday 9 Dec 2021

Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati hailed Egypt’s sincere efforts to mobilise international support for Lebanon in the face of difficult political and economic challenges facing the country.

Egypt and Lebanon
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Head of the General Intelligence Service (GIS) Abbas Kamel with Lebanon s Prime Minister Najib Mikati during their meeting on Thursday 9 December, 2021. Photo courtesy of Egyptian presidential spokesman Facebook page.

Mikati made the remarks as he met on Thursday with President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi during a one-day official visit to Cairo, Presidential Spokesman Bassam Rady said in a statement.

Mikati is also scheduled to hold meetings with Secretary-General of the Arab League Ahmed Abu El-Gheit at the league’s headquarters in the city.

During his meeting with El-Sisi, Mikati expressed appreciation of Egypt’s vital role as a pillar of stability in Lebanon and the entire Arab region.

He hailed the ongoing Egyptian national experience, which prioritises economic and developmental success, saying this experience represents a role model to be followed by the countries of the region.

Mikati expressed appreciation of the historical relations between Egypt and Lebanon, which are based on solidarity and brotherhood.

El-Sisi affirmed to Mikati Egypt’s keenness for the security and stability of Lebanon, achieving the Lebanese national interests, and sparing Lebanon from the dangers of regional conflicts, the statement read.

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Head of the General Intelligence Service (GIS) Abbas Kamel attended the meeting.

The meeting also discussed developments in Lebanon, means to boost bilateral cooperation between the two countries as well as regional issues, the statement added.

Political support

Egypt welcomed the formation of Mikati’s government in September, hoping that it would contribute to ending the prolonged political crisis in the Arab country.

Lebanon has been mired in political and economic crises in recent years, especially since the devastating blast at Beirut’s port in August of last year, which killed at least 214 people and destroyed or damaged thousands of buildings and businesses across the city.

Furthermore, after the blast, anti-government protests caused the government of Hassan Diab to resign less than a year from its formation, leaving the country without an administration for a year.

Egypt has affirmed it will work to support the new government to realise the Lebanese people’s aspirations for a better future.

Economic support, gas delivery

As part of a previously agreed upon roadmap to ease Lebanon’s crippling crisis, Egypt said in October it will export gas to Lebanon soon through Syria and Jordan.

This came amid Lebanon’s energy crisis, after its two main power plants — which had been generating 40 percent of the country’s energy — were shut down earlier this year due to fuel shortages.

As per the agreement with Cairo, Egyptian gas will be transported via Jordan and Syria to northern Lebanon to activate gas-operated power plants that have been non-functional for 11 years.

In August, El-Sisi urged the international community to exert all possible efforts to support the Lebanese people in overcoming the devastating effects of Beirut explosion as he spoke during the Lebanon Donor Conference sponsored by French President Emannuel Macron.

Egypt’s Arab Contractors Company won a bid to develop Lebanon’s major Port of Tripoli and its facilities early in August.

The development of the port is scheduled to be followed by a number of projects to enhance Egypt’s economic presence in Lebanon, especially in the fields of technology and expertise exchange, specifically in Tripoli city.

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