File Photo: File Photo: French President Emmanuel Macron (R) and Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi attend a press conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris on October 24, 2017 REUTERS
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron have urged coordinating efforts to provide support to Lebanon after the devastating blast last month that killed dozens of people and left hundreds of thousands homeless, the presidency said on Friday.
Macron has visited Lebanon twice after the blast. He called on the world to provide support to Lebanon and urged reforms in the Arab country.
He had also called for a fundraising conference shortly after the explosion, where donors raised pledges worth 253 million euros ($299 million) for immediate humanitarian relief. The damage caused by the blast is estimated at more than $15 billion, according to Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun.
Egypt has also sent numerous airlifts of medical supplies and humanitarian aid as part of an air bridge it launched following the blast.
During their phone call on Friday, El-Sisi and Macron agreed on the need to help the Lebanese people and government “with all possible means” against political and economic challenges to preserve the country’s sovereignty and unity.
They also discussed the Libyan crisis and reiterated their countries’ support of a political settlement not influenced by foreign interference and armed militias.
The two presidents welcomed the “constructive” international efforts targeting de-escalation and peaceful settlement in Libya, including the “Cairo Declaration, which urged ceasefire and removing foreign fighters from the country.
The Cairo Declaration was announced in June, during El-Sisi’s meeting with Libyan Parliament Speaker Aguila Saleh and Khalifa Haftar, head of the Libyan National Army who is fighting against the forces of the Government of National Accord, led by Fayez Al-Sarraj.
El-Sisi and Macro urged international efforts to resume negotiations between the Palestinian and Israeli sides within the framework of the peace process in the Middle East to reach a comprehensive and just settlement for the Palestinian cause in line with international references.
The two leaders affirmed their similar stances on issues related to the East Mediterranean region, including rejecting escalation and prioritising regional security and stability through coordination between France and Egypt.