Beirut, Cairo – Talks in Beirut about a coordination with Damascus brought back an old plan proposed in the term of former Prime Minister Najib Mikati and was postponed for creating divisions concerning its content.
Those same disputes emerged between members of the new government headed by Prime Minister Saad Hariri, with fears that the issue of the Syrian refugees would constitute a door for normalizing relations with the Syrian regime.
On Sunday, Secretary General of the so-called Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah urged the government to coordinate with Damascus to help refugees to return now that large areas of Syria are “safe.”
Separately, President Michel Aoun called on Cairo to form an Arab rescue initiative based on a joint strategy to combat terrorism and find political solutions for the crises in the Arab world, particularly in Syria.
“Egypt, which is known for its moderation and openness, could launch an Arab rescue initiative to fight against terrorism which we have suffered from both in Lebanon and Egypt. Violence cannot anchor peace. It rather spaces borders and exacerbates divisions,” Aoun said, adding that “there is no salvation for our two countries but via full solidarity against terrorism.”
Aoun was speaking Monday at a joint press conference with his Egyptian counterpart Abdul Fatah Al-Sissi in Cairo where he is on an official visit.
Aoun, a Maronite Christian, also met the leader of Egypt’s Coptic Church, Pope Tawadros II, and held talks with Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayeb of Al-Azhar, the highest institution of Sunni Islam.
The Lebanese president stressed the need to consolidate the joint Egyptian-Lebanese Higher Committee’s activities.
For his part, Sissi said both men tackled bilateral cooperation between the two countries and discussed regional issues such as terrorism and the Syrian crisis. The Egyptian president said: “Egypt will continue to support the Lebanese Army in its fight against terrorism.”