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Hassan at the Arab Interior Ministers Conference: Lebanon will not be part of regional axes, let the return of the displaced be an Arab and international priority

Interior and Municipalities Minister, Raya El-Hassan, said that Lebanon "was not and will not be part of any regional axes, or a part of any regional security system that breaches its role and obligations in the framework of joint Arab action."

El-Hassan called for addressing "the attempts of regional bodies to destabilize Arab states and interfere in their internal affairs," noting that this "requires us to pay greater attention to the risk of security, political and cultural penetration of our societies, and urges us to demonstrate the highest degree of solidarity to ward off such risks and their implications on the safety of our countries."

"The security situation in Lebanon is fully controlled, and all brethrens can rest assured that the doors of the Lebanese are open to welcoming them at all times," she said.

"Lebanon has safely emerged from its experience of war with terrorism," El-Hassan proudly added, referring to Lebanon's achieved victory through preventive and preemptive strikes that the Lebanese security forces succeeded in directing to terrorist networks.

"The Lebanese security apparatuses have confirmed their effectiveness, and have proved alongside the Lebanese army the ability of the state and its legitimate institutions to assume the defense responsibilities towards Lebanon in maintaining its security and stability," El-Hassan went on.

"The Internal Security Forces play a key role in ensuring security and stability, thus enabling the tourism movement to flourish in the country, having achieved remarkable success, in reducing the rates of crime," the Interior Minister asserted.

Referring to the massive displacement caused by the war in Syria, El-Hassan deemed this as being "a major economic, social and security challenge to host countries of the displaced."

"We reiterate our commitment to the need for the return of displaced Syrians to be an Arab and international priority," she emphasized, calling for ensuring the necessary conditions for a safe and dignified return, in light of a political solution that allows the return of Syria to its natural position among its Arab brethrens.

El-Hassan welcomed the "generous support of the Arabs and the partners of Lebanon in the program of advancement and investment" while expressing her determination to take the challenge in rising to her national duty in the service of her country, people and faith that "whoever assumes power does not distinguish between citizens."

El-Hassan's words came in her address at the 36th session of the Council of Arab Interior Ministers Conference held in the Tunisian capital under the patronage of President Mohamed Beji Caid Essebsi, in the presence of Arab interior ministers, senior security delegations, Arab League representatives and several other prominent figures and important bodies.

Minister El-Hassan is accompanied by a high-ranking security delegation, including the Director General of the Internal Security Forces, Major General Imad Othman, Representative of General Security Director General, Brigadier General Elias al-Baisari, and senior officers.

This morning's work session was inaugurated by Tunisian Minister of the Interior, Hisham Al-Furati, with addresses by the Saudi Interior Minister, Honorary President of the Council of Arab Interior Ministers, Prince Abdul-Aziz bin Saud bin Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, and Arab League Secretary-General, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, and the Council's Secretary-General Mohamad Ali Kouman.

Discussions during the session tackled a number of important topics on the conference's work agenda, including: the report of the Council's Secretary-General on the work of the Secretariat between its 35th and 36th sessions, the report of the President of Naif Arab University for Security Sciences on the work of the University between the Council's aforementioned sessions.

Among the most prominent topics included in the work agenda is a draft plan to combat the illicit use of narcotic drugs and another plan to counter terrorism, in addition to an Arab Civil Defense Strategy plan.

On the sidelines of the Conference, Minister El-Hassan met with Saudi Interior Minister, Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Nayef bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, who stressed "the strong, deeply-rooted and ancient relationship between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon," affirming that "the Kingdom supports stability in Lebanon," and praising "the process of forming a new government and appointing a woman as minister of interior."

Minister El-Hassan also met with UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister, Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who commended the "strong relationship between Lebanon and the UAE." He pointed out that the Lebanese community residing in the UAE has its fingerprints engraved in the country. He also praised "the UAE government's contribution to promoting the role of Emirati women in all forums, departments and positions."

El-Hassan later conferred with her Omani counterpart, Hamoud bin Faisal Al Busaidi, who stressed the need to "strengthen the framework of security cooperation between Lebanon and Oman" and welcomed "the formation of the Lebanese government and the appointment of a woman as interior minister." He deemed that "Omani women play a major role in the process of nation-building and society."

Minister El-Hassan also held talks with her Tunisian counterpart, Hicham Al-Furati, whereby it was agreed to exchange visits in order to reach a framework for security cooperation between Lebanon and Tunisia. El-Hassan commended "the measures taken by Tunisia in the field of combating domestic violence and violence against women," hoping to "learn from the Tunisian experience in this field," and calling on her Tunisian counterpart to visit Lebanon who duly welcomed her invitation.

Source: National News Agency