Caretaker Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants, Abdallah Bou Habib, received today the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Hanke Bruins Slot, with talks touching on the prevailing situation and latest developments.

After the meeting, Bou Habib welcomed the Dutch Minister, ‘especially since the Netherlands supported and provided a lot to Lebanon, particularly after the port explosion in which it lost many lives.”

For her part, the Dutch Minister said: ‘This is the first visit to Lebanon, and although we spoke several times before my arrival, my presence here allowed us to discuss many topics,’ adding, ‘The Netherlands is committed to the relationship with Lebanon. We spoke about the importance of stability in the East.”

She went on: ‘We would like to resolve the crisis and reach a quick agreement regarding the current negotiation, and thus an immediate ceasefire, the return of the prisoners, and for the agreement to be a foundation upon which a lasting peace can later be built.’

The Dutch
Foreign Minister added that they highlighted “the importance of immediately halting the deteriorating situation on the southern Lebanese border between Israel and Lebanon.”

She said: “The Netherlands is concerned about the escalation of the conflict and regrets the loss of civilian lives because of its negative impact on Lebanon and the region. It is extremely important that we avoid expanding the cycle of violence.”

Slot continued: “We ask for a diplomatic solution and count on France’s efforts, but Lebanon also plays a role and Resolution 1701 must be adopted as a basis for lasting peace. We urge both sides, including Hezbollah, to contribute to implementing Resolution 1701 through field action, and also to support the Lebanese army.’

She added: “I have great appreciation for Lebanon, for despite the great burden it bears, it is hosting the largest number of displaced Syrians, and I understand that this has a huge impact on Lebanon and its people.”

“The Netherlands supports the Lebanese army, which work
s to strengthen stability. We also support rebuilding the private sector in Lebanon, which contributes to the development of the country, in cooperation with the European Union. The Netherlands has allocated an amount of 140 million euros for the next four years,’ Slot affirmed.

The Dutch Minister concluded: ‘As we open the new embassy headquarters, we are still demanding answers about holding those responsible for the port explosion accountable.’

Source: National News Agency – Lebanon