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Bassil, Aboul Gheit hold joint press conference: We raised very good decisions to the Summit, no mature position towards Syria yet

Bassil: Syria's return requires mechanisms and true solidarity to share the burdens of displacement

NNA - Caretaker Foreign Affairs and Emigrants Minister, Gebran Bassil, and Arab League Secretary-General, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, held a joint press conference at the Phoenicia Hotel this evening, following the opening session of the meeting by the Arab Foreign Ministers and members of the Economic and Social Council in preparation for the Arab Economic Summit upcoming Sunday.

"I participated today in one of the very good meetings, which was characterized by objectivity, speed and the adoption of all the resolutions that were discussed at the level of permanent delegates," said Aboul Gheit.

"This economic and social development summit has about 29 draft resolutions or items on its agenda which have been fully approved and submitted to the summit," he added, noting that no stance on the issue of Syria has matured yet.

Aboul Gheit disclosed that "there were no sharp differences or difficulties in passing these decisions," praising the presidency, the management of the work sessions, and the generous hospitality of Lebanon in this respect.

In turn, Minister Bassil expressed Lebanon's great content in hosting the Arab summit meeting and the preparatory ministerial meeting for the summit upcoming Sunday.

"There is consensus on solving the economic and social problems witnessed in various Arab countries, and our problems are many, the problems of poverty, malnutrition, unemployment and migration...which are common problems. We are working to expand our economic framework towards witnessing a larger market and more comprehensive and efficient joint solutions," he added.

"Surely we cannot partake in an economic and social conference without according utmost attention to the most important humanitarian crisis with such huge economic and social repercussions...for we cannot think of economic and social solutions and coexistence while we have a major humanitarian crisis at hand, namely the crisis of refugees and displaced," Bassil underlined.

He added: "Lebanon has raised the issue of Syria's return to the Arab embrace, and therefore its return to the Arab League, which is not a matter for a country alone, it needs mechanisms and formulas and true solidarity to share the burdens of displacement...but we cannot distance ourselves from it and stay away from its treatment and approach to fill a gap in the Arab world."

"We have also raised the issue of women because there can be no development without women, who form half the society and cannot remain in the shadow of men without claiming

their rights," Bassil went on.

"On the level of energy and the establishment of a common Arab market, all of these issues are a good framework to build on. It is a new Arab opportunity in which we meet...either we strengthen our joint efforts and unity or we fail...and this is a challenge for all of us, not for one country alone," he emphasized.

Bassil highlighted Lebanon's role in striving to ensure joint action and welcome its Arab brethrens with greatest hospitality as being the least of its duties towards the Arab states. "It remains upto the sovereign countries to decide for themselves in which direction the Arab League would proceed, and its fate and productivity," he added.

Bassil hoped that upcoming Sunday's summit would culminate in an outcome similar to today's meeting, "so it would be a step forward in our joint work."

Source: National News Agency