FEBRUARY 8, 2015 (REFERRING TO THE NATIONAL NEWS AGENCY – LEBANON) Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Minister, Gebran Bassil, met Sunday with heads of Lebanese diplomatic missions to Europe in an “active diplomacy” session, during which he highlighted “Lebanon’s need for assistance at all levels, and prevention of foreign interferences in its internal affairs.”
Talks during the session dwelt on various political, economic, cultural and expatriate issues.
In his opening word, Bassil considered it “an opportunity to meet with Lebanon’s diplomats abroad, in order to review various matters, needs and demands for the sake of developing and activating the diplomatic bridge that connects Lebanon with the world, and to ameliorate diplomacy conditions.”
Bassil stressed “on the historical relation between Lebanon and Europe that dates back long ago, and the ongoing cooperation which is to be further activated, especially in wake of the terrorism and extremism waves that have started hitting Europe.”
Bassil called for “marketing the Lebanese model in Europe in its aspects of co-existence, forgiveness and dialogue, in light of events witnessed in the region.” He stressed herein on “the need to defend Lebanon’s interests amidst the challenges confronting it.”
Bassil also touched on freedom of expression in Lebanon, noting that “we suffer from a lot of liberty and less democracy.” He added that “our experiences have taught us how to overcome our problems, sparing us from falling into the war trap.” However, he indicated that “Lebanon is in need of help at all levels, including the prevention of foreign interferences in its internal affairs.”
At the economic level, Bassil highlighted “the need to activate economic ties with Europe, which constitutes the primary source for Lebanon.”
“It is necessary to achieve real breakthroughs to reach the best business relationships,” he noted, adding that “partnership with the European Union is expected to create a positive impact,” while stressing “the importance of exerting efforts to increase the level of economic exchange and modify imbalance in trade.”
Furthermore, Bassil touched in his word on “the importance of expatriate diplomacy and the relation of Lebanese expatriates with their mother nation.”
“It is necessary to focus more on the young generations within Lebanese expatriate communities residing in Europe, especially in light of their lack of involvement in political life in Lebanon,” said Bassil.
He pointed out that “when the young are away from matters involving their nation, they lose commitment which pushes them towards non-attachment to Lebanon.” Hence, Bassil stressed “the need to work on the integration of young people with Lebanon’s issues, and their involvement in Lebanese life.”
SOURCE: NATIONAL NEWS AGENCY- LEBANON