Egypt FM Meets Lebanon Leaders, Hands Aoun, Hariri Letters from al-Sisi

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry held talks Wednesday with President Michel Aoun and other senior Lebanese leaders.

“I handed President Aoun a letter from (Egyptian) President (Abdel Fattah) al-Sisi and it contains a message of support, solidarity and keenness on Lebanon’s stability. I also handed him an official invitation to visit Egypt,” Shoukry said after meeting Aoun in Baabda.

The visiting minister arrived later in Ain el-Tineh for talks with Speaker Nabih Berri.

“I carried to him the salutations of His Excellency President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and his appreciation of his important and prominent role in achieving Lebanon’s stability and filling the vacancies in its constitutional institutions,” Shoukry announced after the talks.

Egypt’s top diplomat later met with Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri and also handed him a letter from al-Sisi.

The letter contains “congratulations on Lebanon’s election of a new president and the looming formation of a new cabinet,” Shoukry said.

“We expressed a common interest in strengthening the ties between the two countries, and Egypt will support stability in Lebanon,” the minister said.

“We are looking forward to maintaining communication with all Lebanese parties in order to serve the interests of the two peoples,” Shoukry added.

He also held talks with caretaker Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil, Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat and Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea.

“My visit is aimed at extending congratulations and expressing Egypt’s relief over the election of a president and the formation of a unity cabinet,” said Shoukry during a joint press conference with Bassil.

Bassil for his part reminded of Aoun’s oath of office, noting that it calls for “an independent foreign policy based on Lebanon’s interest and commitment to the Arab League Charter and the principle of non-interference in the affairs of the Arab countries.”

And speaking after talks with Shoukry in Clemenceau, Jumblat noted that “the delay in forming the cabinet is local,” adding that “some underprivileged components have the right to make some demands.”
LebanonSaad Hariri