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Spain’s Defense Minister Meets Hariri, Visits Spanish UNIFIL Unit | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Spanish Defense Minister Maria Dolores de Cospedal meets Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri. (NNA)

Spain’s Defense Minister Maria Dolores de Cospedal stressed on Thursday the importance of “preserving Lebanon’s stability,” while emphasizing her country’s commitment to supporting the Lebanese state in tackling the case of Syrian refugees.

The minister made her stance after holding talks with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri at the Grand Serail as part of a trip to Lebanon. Talks between the two officials focused on Lebanon and the region and the Lebanese government’s efforts to combat terrorism.

She hoped after the meeting that the government “would succeed in restoring and strengthening political, social, and economic stability in Lebanon.”

She relayed to Hariri “greetings of the Spanish people and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy”, adding, “Spain is fully committed to the stability and the future of Lebanon, particularly through the Spanish contingent participating in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in the South. The contingent is committed to presenting all possible help to Lebanon.”

She congratulated Hariri on the work of the Lebanese government, “especially in regards to holding the elections and the Lebanese armed forces’ preservation of stability.”

She also hailed the “tremendous efforts” of the Lebanese government towards helping Syrian refugees return to their homeland.

For his part, Hariri thanked Cospedal for the Spanish army’s contribution to the UNIFIL and discussed ways to activate the military cooperation between the two countries.

In the afternoon, Cospedal, accompanied by Spanish Ambassador to Lebanon Milagros Hernando, paid a visit to her country’s contingent in UNIFIL, where she held talks with officers on the situation in the region and their area of work.

“I feel proud and honored to be among you, where you are carrying out a noble mission of preserving stability in the region and helping Lebanon. I relay to you the greetings of the Spanish people and government for what you are doing in this region, which has long suffered from instability,” Cospedal said.

She thanked the families of the soldiers for their support and praised the sacrifices of the unit that “lost 15 martyrs over the years for the sake of stability in Lebanon.”