Cairo- Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has stressed his country’s full support to Lebanon’s political stability and called on the international community to help the Middle Eastern state bear the burden of refugees.
Sisi’s remarks came during his meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri in Cairo on Wednesday, in the presence of Egypt’s Premier Sherif Ismail.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Alaa Youssef said the two leaders discussed possible cooperation in different fields including health, education and investment.
While he pledged to support Lebanon in facing the repercussions of the Syrian war, the Egyptian president called on the international community to assist the Lebanese government in dealing with the huge refugee influx.
Lebanon has been hosting over more than one million Syrian refugees since the eruption of the Syrian conflict in 2011, according to statistics by UNHCR, the UN’s refugee agency.
Youssef added that Sisi praised the Lebanese model which he said supports diversity and avoids extremism.
For his part, the Lebanese premier lauded Egypt’s progress towards stability and economic reform.
He also highlighted Lebanon’s keenness on boosting cooperation with Egypt in facing terrorism and protecting Arab national security.
Hariri, heading a delegation of ministers to boost bilateral relations, arrived in Cairo Tuesday on his first official visit abroad since taking office in December 2016.
During his two-day trip, Hariri headed the Lebanese delegation at a session of the Lebanese-Egyptian Higher Joint Committee.
The Lebanese premier concluded his official trip with a meeting on Wednesday with Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria. He also met with Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed al-Tayeb.
Hariri was accompanied by a delegation that included Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Ghassan Hasbani, Education Minister Marwan Hamadeh, Agriculture Minister Ghazi Zoaiter, Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil, Interior Minister Nouhad Mashnouk, Culture Minister Ghattas Khoury, Public Works Minister Youssef Fenianos, Energy Minister Cesar Abi Khalil and Economy Minister Raed Khoury.