German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier concluded on Wednesday his three-day official trip to Lebanon, where he met with President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, Speaker Nabih Berri and the heads of religious confessions. He also visited the German naval force that is taking part in UNIFIL’s naval peacekeeping forces.
Lebanese officials asked Steinmeier to back Lebanon in the upcoming international conferences to be held in Paris, Rome and Brussels with the aim to rally support for the country at the economic, security and political levels.
During his meeting with Hariri on Tuesday, Steinmeier discussed bilateral relations and means to enhance cooperation.
A statement issued by the premier’s office said that talks have touched on Germany’s participation in the three upcoming conferences to be held in Europe, which would include the Rome II Conference to support the Army and Security Forces, the Paris Conference to rally economic aid and the Brussels Conference to support countries hosting Syrian refugees.
Steinmeier also met with Berri, who expressed his appreciation to Germany for its aid to Lebanon and its contribution to the UNIFIL forces, the National News Agency (NNA) reported.
“The most important assistance that Germany can offer is to help reach a political solution in Syria, in view of the important impact of such solution on Lebanon and the region,” Berri was quoted as saying.
The Lebanese speaker also touched on Israel’s attempts to build a separation wall along the land borders.
In Dar al-Fatwa, the German president met with the leaders of Lebanon’s Islamic and Christian communities.
He underlined “the return of religions to playing salient roles, especially in the Middle East.”
“Religious peace in an expression of acceptance of pluralism and coexistence among the different components of the society,” he stated.
Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdullatif Derian, for his part, welcomed the visiting president and the attending spiritual leaders, highlighting the importance of coexistence and peace between religions in Lebanon.
Also on Tuesday, Steinmeier inspected his country’s UNIFIL naval force aboard Magdeburg (F 261) battleship in Beirut Port.