Ambassador of Canada Emmanuelle Lamoureux held a reception on the occasion of Canada Day, in the presence of Minister of Economy and Trade Mansour Bteish, representing the President of the Republic, MP Farid El Khazen, representing the Parliament Speaker and Minister of State Adel Afiouni representing the Prime Minister, next to high-ranking dignitaries and diplomats.
"Our differences bring us together, just like the similarities between us," said the ambassador when describing the tight-knit relations between Lebanon and Canada.
"Lebanon is home to many ancient civilizations. It is a source of wonderful diversity and creativity. Its climate is mild and its nature is beautiful, but the country bears the scars of war and destruction," she said.
"In Canada, one can find peace and freedom, enough peace for dreams and achievement, and enough space for all, including the 300,000 newcomers whom we welcome every year, but our nature and climate are difficult to bear, and they remind us of our vulnerability as human beings. This is probably why Canadians of Lebanese origin keen moving back and forth between the two countries, eager for the warmth and vitality of Lebanon, and the space and tranquility of Canada," the diplomat added.
"Canada is one of the top five contributors to international aid [to Lebanon]," she said. "We help the most vulnerable people, refugees and Lebanese, in education, health, nutrition, protection, water and sanitation, as well as providing support for women and young people in terms of livelihood opportunities. Canada is also working with the World Bank and other donors to enable large infrastructure projects that will help Lebanon better embrace the economic and social shocks of the Syrian crisis."
"We are proud to support the security and stability of the country, namely through our cooperation with the Lebanese army in the snowy mountains of Lebanon," Lamoureux went on to say. "The principle of gender equality is at the center of our work. We know that empowerment of women and girls makes families and nations more peaceful and prosperous, and that is why we will continue to work with Lebanon and our partners to follow up the Mashreq Conference on Women's Economic Empowerment held in Beirut earlier this year."
"Canada and the Canadians wants Lebanon and its people to thrive in terms of security and peace. International aid, reforms, investments and Cedre are just a means to that end," she concluded.
Source: National News Agency