Germany promises further support for Lebanon

28th September 2006, Comments 0 comments

28 September 2006, BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday promised Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Seniora continued assistance for his country in line with the UN peacekeeping mission to Lebanon. "Germany is ready to help in building up a sovereign, strong and democratic Lebanon," the chancellor said after talks in Berlin. Seniora, who is currently on a tour of Europe, spoke of "a very fruitful discussion" with Merkel and voiced appreciation for Germany's contribution to the United Nations Int

28 September 2006

BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday promised Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Seniora continued assistance for his country in line with the UN peacekeeping mission to Lebanon.

"Germany is ready to help in building up a sovereign, strong and democratic Lebanon," the chancellor said after talks in Berlin.

Seniora, who is currently on a tour of Europe, spoke of "a very fruitful discussion" with Merkel and voiced appreciation for Germany's contribution to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) mission.

The UN is deploying a 15,000-member peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon under a ceasefire agreement which last month ended fighting between Israel and Hezbollah militants based in Lebanon.

Sending German peacekeeping forces to Lebanon was just the start, the chancellor said, referring to the dispatch of a naval task force last week to patrol the coast of Lebanon to stop the smuggling of weapons to Hezbollah.

She said Germany would step up its efforts as part of the international quartet's moves to find a permanent settlement to the Middle East conflict.

The quartet, comprising the US, the EU, the UN and Russia, was formed with the intent of producing a globally backed peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

Merkel said Germany wanted to see a settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict based on "the two-state solution." In order to achieve this, "we need to convince all Lebanon's neighbours that a political solution was the only way forward," she added.

Seniora spoke of his country's troubled past, saying, "Lebanon has been subject to so many attacks and invasions in the past decades."

In a speech to European lawmakers in Strasbourg on Wednesday, the Lebanese premier called for "new and bold initiatives" aimed at bringing peace to the troubled Mideast region.

Seniora said money pledged by international donors for reconstruction in Lebanon was only "a first step on a long path to economic recovery" and called on the EU to facilitate Lebanese exports and goods into the bloc.

DPA

Subject: German news

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