Egyptian FM visits Lebanon

Beirut, April 8 (IANS) Visiting Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met Lebanese President Michel Aoun here during which he affirmed Cairo’s “solidarity with Lebanon and its support for efforts to form a new government”.

During their meeting at the Baabda Palace on Wednesday, Shoukry delivered a “message of solidarity” from Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi to Aoun and emphasized Cairo’s keenness to communicate with all Lebanese political parties in hope to get out of the current crisis”, reports Xinhua news agency.

In response, Aoun expressed his appreciation and gratitude for Egypt’s role in helping Lebanon face its various crises, namely the governmental deadlock.

The President also discussed with Shoukry obstacles facing the government formation process, hoping to cooperate with all political parties to come up with a successful cabinet capable of assuming its duties.

The Foreign Minister said he will hold a series of meetings with various political parties to explore ways of reaching a consensus on the cabinet formation which opens the door for regional and international support.

He added that Lebanon’s stability is vital to the region and its interests.

The Egyptian Minister arrived in Beirut on Wednesday to hold discussions with various political parties on government formation in the country.

Lebanon has been facing a governmental vacuum since last August due to officials’ disagreements over ministerial shares and the form and nature of the future government.

The country is also going through its worst economic and financial crisis with poverty rate exceeding 50 per cent according to the World Bank amid a sharp increase in unemployment rate and the collapse of the local currency.

This year, the Central Bank of Lebanon also tightened regulations against the country’s banks, which compelled some of them to close branches and lay off employees to stay afloat.