Speaker of the Belgian Parliament, Siegfried Bracke, arrived in Beirut this afternoon on head of a Brussels delegation, following an official invitation by House Speaker, Nabih Berri.
The Belgian Parliament Speaker will hold meetings with his Lebanese counterpart and senior Lebanese officials over a number of common issues, most prominently the bilateral relations between both Parliaments and the extension of the agreement signed between them, in addition to relations between the Lebanese and European Parliaments.
The Belgian official is also scheduled to meet with President of the Republic Michel Aoun and Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri, and to conduct a tour among the Syrian refugee camps in the Bekaa.
Welcoming Bracke and his accompanying delegation at Beirut Airport was Foreign Affairs Committee Chair, MP Yassin Jaber, Secretary General for Foreign Affairs at the Parliament Council, Bilal Sharara, Belgian Ambassador to Lebanon Hubert Cooreman, and senior Embassy staff.
"We are counting on this visit, which comes at a very timely and sensitive phase, as there are many very important decisions that Lebanon and the Lebanese must take," Bracke said upon arrival.
"Since Lebanon is a bridge between the EU, including Belgium, and the Arab world, we look forward to political stability in Lebanon...and I am sure that the Lebanese model will succeed in finding a solution to the current political crisis," the Belgian Speaker affirmed.
"Given the turbulent conditions in the region, there are many areas we can cooperate in, not just in business," he added.
Responding to a press question on Lebanese-Belgian Parliamentary relations, Bracke described them as "very solid", adding, "We have been working together for more than 14 years. My predecessor signed a cooperation agreement between our two countries. Today I look forward to extending this agreement and widening its scope for the next three years."
In turn, MP Jaber welcomed Bracke and his accompanying delegation, saying, "Belgium is a friend of Lebanon, which hosts a large Lebanese expatriate community, and is also the capital of the European Union."
"As you know, there is a partnership between Lebanon and the European Union, which always stands with Lebanon. It is necessary to create these dynamic relations between the Lebanese parliament and all these parliaments in friendly countries," Jaber underlined.
Source: National News Agency