BASSIL MEETS SZIJJ?RT?: HUNGARY PROVIDES 1.5 MILLION EUROS OF CHURCHES’ RESTORATION

Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil met on Friday at Villa Boustros with Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijj?rt?, with talks reportedly touching on the bilateral relations and joint cooperation between the two countries.

Speaking at a joint press conference, Minister Bassil welcomed Minister Szijjaro on his second visit to Lebanon, and said the visit was an opportunity to review the current UNIFIL budget in New York, with emphasis on the importance of this budget in terms of UNIFIL’s significant contribution to stability and security in southern Lebanon, in light of the daily Israeli violations of Lebanese sovereignty.

“In this context, we thank Hungary for its contribution to UNIFIL forces operating in south Lebanon… and we reaffirm Lebanon’s full commitment to the implementation of resolution 1701 in all its clauses,” Bassil said.

Bassil also lauded Lebanon as a country of message between its Muslim and Christian communities, as well as the center of civilizations, diversity and pluralism.

The Minister welcomed the initiative of the Government of Hungary in its commitment to assist Christian minorities in the region, expressing gratitude for the Hungarian assistance granted to the restoration of religious sites. Bassil disclosed that around thirty churches up and down the country will be renovated, with the strong partnership between the Ministries of both countries,

“This project is not about symbols and concepts… It is an utter expression of our shared will in hope, humanity and pluralism in the face of violence and oppression,” Bassil said.

In a reply to a question about the rift between Qatar and some Gulf countries, Bassil said that Lebanon seeks only the reconciliation amongst the Arab brethrens and does not interfere in the affairs of friendly countries and Arab states.

Bassil said Lebanon favors dialogue, understanding and diplomatic solutions instead of conflict because “our ultimate goal is to fight terrorism, eliminate extremism and achieve peace and understanding,” as he said.

On the other hand, the Hungarian Minister commended Lebanon for its crucial role in preserving the security and safety of Europe through its hosting of a huge influx of Syrian refugees on its territories. Szijj?rt? urged the European Union to multiply financial assistance to Lebanon, to enable it to maintain its stability and reinforce its capability to bear the brunt of the refugees’ influx.

Szijj?rt? also announced his government’s allocation of 1.5 million euros for the restoration of churches in Lebanon, stressing Hungary’s concern for the fate of the Christians worldwide and in the Middle East.

Source: National News Agency

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