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EU AMBASSADOR CHRISTINA LASSEN MEETS PRIME MINISTER SAAD HARIRI

Ambassador Christina Lassen, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Lebanon, met today with Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

Both sides welcomed the outcome of the 8th EU-Lebanon Association Council in Brussels earlier this week which demonstrated once more the strong, strategic partnership between the EU and Lebanon.

On this basis, PM Hariri and Ambassador Lassen discussed concrete ways of boosting EU-Lebanon trade, including through helping Lebanon exploiting preferential access to EU markets and working on options for improving that access.

They also discussed cooperation to improve the economy in Lebanon linked to the Government's planned economic reforms and investment plans. In this context, Ambassador Lassen welcomed Lebanon becoming an EBRD member.

Prime Minister Hariri informed Ambassador Lassen about the government's progress towards passing a national budget and other priorities on the government's legislative agenda, including the public private partnership law. Concerning parliamentary elections, Ambassador Lassen reaffirmed the EU's readiness to support Lebanon in preparing and holding fair, transparent and inclusive elections, including through the deployment of an EU Election Observation Mission.

Ambassador Lassen addressed the on-going challenge posed by solid waste and waste management notably in Beirut and discussed with the Prime Minister the government's plan for immediate and long-term solutions to address the issue, including the involvement of the civil society.

In the context of reviewing the security situation at Lebanon's eastern border and the operations in Arsal, Ambassador Lassen reaffirmed the EU's commitment to support the Lebanese Armed Forces and other state security and justice institutions, as the sole providers of security, stability and order in the country while stressing the importance of abiding by international human rights law.

Ambassador Lassen welcomed PM Hariri's announcement to publish the results of the still ongoing investigation on the death of four detainees in LAF custody.

Concerning the situation of refugees from Syria in Lebanon, Ambassador Lassen expressed concern about the rising tensions and lauded statements from the President and the Prime Minister denouncing recent attacks and divisive rhetoric.

Source: National News Agency