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Hariri Concluding Paris Trip: Backing Army Strengthens Lebanon’s Institutions - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Beirut – Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri declared on Saturday that supporting the army strengthens the Lebanese state and “enables it to combat terrorism” that is threatening several countries.

He hoped at the end of his two-day visit to Paris where he met French President Emmanuel Macron that a scheduled conference aimed at backing the army would garner the required aid.

The conference is set to be held in Italy.

Hariri also met a number of French officials during his trip, including Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and Defense Minister Florence Parly.

The Lebanese PM said that Macron had asserted to him his country’s political, military and moral backing of Lebanon.

“Macron is assured of his steps and he is a man of vision,” stated Hariri in an interview with local television.

The French president will help encourage France and Europeans to attend conferences that support Lebanon, he continued in wake of the country’s hosting of 1.5 million Syrian refugees.

One such form of support is a Paris conference that will be held soon and which will encourage investment in Lebanon, revealed Hariri. Another conference, whose date is tentatively set for early 2018, will also be held in order to tackle the refugee file.

The Lebanese official also highlighted the military cooperation between Beirut and Paris, saying that the joint trainings are held between the two sides and that Lebanon’s army had received equipment from its French counterpart.

Hariri is scheduled to travel to Russia on September 13 where he will meet with President Vladimir Putin.

“Discussions between us are very frank. We will talks about stopping support to Syrian regime leader Bashar Assad,” said the Lebanese PM.

Hariri had kicked off his visit to Paris at the end of August. He concluded it on Friday by meeting Parly at his Paris residence. The two officials addressed strengthening cooperation between Lebanon and France, especially in regards to backing the army and Lebanese security forces.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun is meanwhile set to travel to Paris on September 25.

“Aoun’s visit will highlight the relationship between Lebanon and France,” stressed Hariri.

It will mark the first foreign trip Aoun makes since his election as president last fall.