Bassil from Brussels: Increasing European awareness of terrorism threat

FEBRUARY 7, 2015 (REFERRING TO THE NATIONAL NEWS AGENCY – LEBANON) Foreign and Expatriates Minister, Gebran Bassil, pointed Saturday to “Europe’s increasing awareness of the threat of terrorism,” adding that “Lebanon’s important role in this area is also evident to Europe; hence, cooperation is becoming increasingly necessary and assistance to the Lebanese army is expected to be doubled.”

Bassil’s words came during his visit to Brussels on head of a ministerial delegation, including Water and Energy Minister, Artur Nazarian, and Economy and Trade Minister, Alain Hakim. The visit is expected to last until upcoming Wednesday, during which Bassil and his accompanying delegation will be meeting with officials in the European Union and Belgium. Bassil will also be presiding over “Lebanese Ambassadors in the European Continent” Conference and will be meeting with members of the Lebanese expatriates’ community residing in the Belgian capital.

Commenting on the nature of his visit, Bassil said “We are here to give a new impetus to the partnership between Lebanon and Europe,” adding that “we are counting a lot on the development of partnership relations with EU states, for Europe can help Lebanon in the field of counter-terrorism and activating economic support,” noting that “it stands as the first economic source for Lebanon.”

During his stay, Bassil will be partaking in the Lebanese-European Partnership Council meeting, in which he will sign a protocol that allows Lebanon to participate in the specialized programs for EU member states. The Partnership Council will have a comprehensive assessment of bilateral relations and development programs, in addition to the Syrian refugees in Lebanon dossier and the Lebanese government’s actions in this regards.

Moreover, Bassil is to hold talks with members of the Political and Security Committee in the European Union over aids to the Lebanese army and security forces within the counter-terrorism field, especially in light of the EU issued strategy in combat of terrorism.

Furthermore, Bassil will be holding talks with EU Foreign Ministers over the situation in Lebanon and how its member states can increase aids to Lebanon, especially with respect to fighting terrorism.