Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun said that after stability at the security level had been settled, efforts must now focus on improving the ailing economic situation.
“Economy-wise, Lebanon is open to the brotherly and friendly countries, and it welcomes investments in all sectors, especially in the fields of oil and gas exploration,” he said.
Aoun’s remarks came during his meeting at the Baabda Palace with Chairman of the British Parliamentary Committee for Friendship with Lebanon, MP John Hayes, accompanied by a delegation from the House of Commons and British Lords.
He thanked the British government for helping the Lebanese Army build military towers on the eastern borders, which he said facilitated the monitoring of any infiltration into Lebanese territory and greatly contributed to the war against terrorism and the elimination of its dormant cells.
The president noted that the provision of international aid to the displaced Syrians once they move back to Syria would encourage the refugees to return home, renewing calls not to wait for a political solution to the Syrian crisis to guarantee the safe return of refugees.
“Today we are in a difficult situation, because the social services we provide to the displaced are part of the inadequate international assistance to cover their needs. So we have social problems in schools and hospitals, adding to the high rate of unemployment caused by the Syrian labor force, as well as the increase of rates of crimes committed on Lebanese territory and against the Lebanese by 30 percent,” according to Aoun.
For his part, the British MP praised “Lebanese-British friendly relations”, pointing out that the purpose of the visit was to explore what can be done to support Lebanon.