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Paris Meeting to Support Lebanon: International Umbrella for 'Policy of Dissociation'

Paris Meeting to Support Lebanon: International Umbrella for 'Policy of Dissociation'

Saturday, 9 December, 2017 - 08:00
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri and French President Emmanuel Macron at the International Support Group for Lebanon meeting in Paris, France, on 8 December, 2017. (Reuters/Philippe Wojazer)

The meeting of the International Support Group for Lebanon, which was held in Paris on Friday, provided an international umbrella for the policy of “dissociation”, which Prime Minister Saad Hariri set as a condition to renounce his resignation.

“Lebanon’s stability is not only crucial for its inhabitants but for the entire region, which is shaken by many conflicts. Therefore, protecting Lebanon from its crises requires Lebanese parties and regional players to respect the very important principle of exclusion and non-intervention,” French President Emmanuel Macron told the meeting.

In a clear reference to "Hezbollah" and its role in the region’s conflicts, Macron stressed that recent events have proved that “the involvement of the Lebanese militias in the confrontations that are destroying the Middle East cannot continue without exposing Lebanon with all its components to its collateral dangers.”

At the press conference following the meeting, Hariri underlined that everyone was waiting for the implementation of the dissociation policy.

The final statement issued at the end of the meeting noted that the International Support Group “will follow closely the implementation of the decisions of the Lebanese Council of Ministers (on the issue of dissociation) which was approved by all Lebanese parties.”

The statement added that the Lebanese Army “is the only legitimate armed force based on the Constitution and the Taif agreement” and that it is the sole authority – along with the State’s security institutions - that should protect Lebanon and its borders.”

The meeting also called on the international community to continue to provide assistance to the Lebanese army. The practical translation of this support will be highlighted during the conference to support the Lebanese Armed Forces, which will be hosted by Rome early next year.

The meeting of the International Support Group for Lebanon was held at the French foreign ministry’s headquarters, with the participation of Germany, China, the United States, Italy, the United Kingdom, Russia, the European Union, the Arab League, the UNHCR, the UNDP, the World Bank and the United Nations Special Coordinator in Lebanon.

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