German minister on 'solidarity visit' to Lebanon

28th August 2006, Comments 0 comments

28 August 2006, BEIRUT - Visiting German Minister for Economic Development Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul said Sunday she was on a "solidarity visit" to Lebanon. "I came to show solidarity with the Lebanese people who have suffered a lot in the last month," Wieczorek-Zeul said during a joint press conference with Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Seniora. "We think wars do not solve any conflict," she added as she described the devastation when she toured Beirut's southern suburbs earlier. "We are working towards p

28 August 2006

BEIRUT - Visiting German Minister for Economic Development Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul said Sunday she was on a "solidarity visit" to Lebanon.

"I came to show solidarity with the Lebanese people who have suffered a lot in the last month," Wieczorek-Zeul said during a joint press conference with Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Seniora.

"We think wars do not solve any conflict," she added as she described the devastation when she toured Beirut's southern suburbs earlier.

"We are working towards peace in this region and to support the Seniora government and its democratic rebuilding of Lebanon," she said.

She added that six tons of food and medical supplies which were brought aboard her plane "are humanitarian assistance for children."

Wieczorek-Zeul added that she would represent Germany at a donor conference for Lebanon due to be held in Stockholm later this month.

Seniora thanked the German government for its constant "backing and assistance" during the 33 days of Israel's offensive against the Lebanese Hezbollah militia.

Seniora revealed that he had been in "constant contact" with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to help lift the Israeli blockade on Beirut's international airport.

"Germany is among the countries we sought to help us lift the Israeli blockade on Lebanon," Seniora said.

Since Israel started its attacks on Lebanon on July 12, it imposed a sea and air blockade on the country.

The blockade has been partially lifted on Beirut's airport, in that planes from the Lebanese national carrier Middle East Airlines (MEA) are allowed to pass through Jordan before heading to their final destinations.

The minister, who arrived on board a private jet, was greeted by Lebanese Economics Minister Sami Hadad.

Wieczorek-Zeul, who toured the capital's southern suburbs appeared shocked as she saw the massive damage especially in the area of Haret Hreik, which was the target of 300 Israeli raids.

According to Beirut officials, Germany has offered to help the Lebanese Army with "only technical assistance" to secure its borders with Syria and prevent arms smuggling for Hezbollah.

DPA

Subject: German news

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