Prime Minister Saad Hariri reiterated on Thursday that Lebanon’s dissociation policy, which was reaffirmed by the government earlier his week, will help maintain national unity while respecting Arab consensus.
“My government must now undertake the task of maintaining the best of relations with Arab countries and with the international community in line with UN Security Council resolutions, including 1701, which has helped ensure the stability and security of our southern border for 11 years,” Hariri said in his speech at the meeting of the International Support Group for Lebanon (ISGL) held in Paris.
The Lebanese government must also meet the basic needs of citizens, while addressing the challenges of the Syrian refugees, he told the conferees at Quai d'Orsay, home to France's foreign ministry.
“The disassociation policy reiterated by my government and adopted by all its political components will enable us to maintain our national unity while respecting Arab consensus,” stressed Hariri.
“But the stability of Lebanon hinges on its ability to cope with the economic and social challenges, stemming essentially from the Syrian refugee crisis,” he said.
Also Thursday, Hariri met at the headquarters of the French foreign ministry, with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in the presence of Lebanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Jebran Bassil and his adviser Nader Hariri, the premier’s press office said.
The meeting took place on the sidelines of the ministerial meeting of the ISGL, the statement said.
Discussions tackled the situation in Lebanon and the region and bilateral relations, it added.
Representatives of all five permanent members of the UN Security Council, including Tillerson, attended the ISGL meeting chaired by French President Emmanuel Macron.
Hariri said following the meeting that the contact group insisted on the "absolute need" to stick to the disassociation policy.
He also warned that any breach of the agreement to distance the country from the region's crises will drag Lebanon back into the "danger zone."
After consultations with the various political groups in Lebanon, Hariri announced Tuesday he was withdrawing his resignation that he had announced on November 4.
The Lebanese cabinet issued a joint statement to reaffirm its commitment to staying out of regional conflicts.