Amir's attendance 'saves' Beirut Arab summit
January 20 2019 01:09 PM
His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani meets Lebanese President General Michel Aoun i
His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani meets Lebanese President General Michel Aoun in Beirut

Agencies/Beirut

*His Highness Sheikh Tamim also holds talks with Lebanese president

His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani met with Lebanese President General Michel Aoun, ahead of the fourth Arab Economic and Social Development Summit at the conference centre in Beirut Sunday morning.
The meeting reviewed the most important topics on the agenda of the summit, in addition to co-operation between the two brotherly countries and means of promoting them.
His Highness the Amir and the Lebanese President also exchanged views on the current regional and international issues.


His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani is seen with other leaders who attended the fourth Arab Economic and Social Development Summit in Beirut


The members of the official delegation accompanying the Amir attended the meeting. It was attended from the Lebanese side by a number of ministers.
Later the Amir took part in the opening session of the summit.
The summit was overshadowed by political rifts. Many Arab heads of state pulled out last minute.
In addition to the attendance of His Highness Sheikh Tamim, Mauritania's President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz was also present.
"The Qataris are trying to promote a reconciliatory spirit around the region and reconfigure relationships following the siege," Rami Khouri, a political analyst and fellow at Harvard Kennedy School told Al Jazeera.
Amine Kammourieh, a Lebanese political analyst, said the "Amir’s attendance broke the siege imposed on the summit [by Arab leaders], saving it at the last minute".


Lebanese President General Michel Aoun receives His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani at the Rafic Hariri International Airport

Earlier the Amir and the accompanying delegation were received on arrived at the Rafic Hariri International Airport by the Lebanese President, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants Gebran Bassil, Minister of State for Presidency Affairs Dr Pierre Raffoul, Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, Qatar's Ambassador to Lebanon Mohamed Hassan al-Jaber, Lebanon's Ambassador to Qatar Hassan Najem and a number of senior Lebanese officials.
The Amir was accorded an official reception ceremony.
After attending the summit, the Amir returned to Qatar.
At the summit, Lebanon urged world powers to step up efforts for Syrian refugees to return home regardless of a political solution to the conflict in its war-wracked neighbour.
It also proposed the creation of an Arab bank to finance reconstruction in Arab countries devastated by conflicts such as Syria and Yemen.
"Lebanon calls on the international community to make all efforts possible and provide suitable conditions for a safe return of displaced Syrians without linking that to a political solution," President Aoun said.


His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani with Lebanese President General Michel Aoun during the official reception ceremony

There are currently 5.6mn Syrian refugees living in the region, including around 1mn born into displacement, according to the UN refugee agency UNHCR.
Lebanon hosts some 1.5mn Syrians who have fled the civil war raging across the border.
The refugee issue was to be one of the main points on the agenda of this year's summit, and Aoun said he had put forward measures that would ease their return.
The "establishment of an Arab bank for reconstruction and development" of Arab countries devastated by conflict, would be one of them, he said.

Last updated: January 21 2019 12:32 AM


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