(Video) LDE 2017 Conference in Cancun, Bassil: “No Independence without Freedom!”

Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Minister Gebran Bassil opened Saturday the Lebanese Diaspora Energy Conference 2017 in Cancun, Mexico.

The Conference opening session was attended by Cancun’s state officials, Mexico’s federal authority representatives and a number of Mexican, Brazilian and Argentinean deputies of Lebanese origin.

Among the leading attendees were: Lebanese Ambassador Carlos Slim, Lebanese Central Bank Deputy Governor Mohamed Baasiri, Banks Association Union Representative in Lebanon Makram Sader, Argentinean Parliamentary Friendship Committee Chairperson, Miriam Ghrazila Gallardo, Mexican Parliamentary Friendship Committee Chairperson, Lebanese MP Alfredo Nicolas Bacchus, and a large crowd of business, religious, cultural and media prominent dignitaries from various Latin American countries.

During the conference, Minister Bassil presented two honorary awards to football player Baku Gabriel and businessman Carlos Selim, who spoke about the role of the Lebanese community in Mexico, whose migration there started many years ago. Selim explained the difficulties that the immigrants had encountered upon their arrival in Mexico with limited resources at that time, only to become pioneering figures in that country, raising Lebanon’s name up high!

This is an excerpt of Minister Gebran Bassil inaugural speech :

“- We are here today because we want to witness, together, the rebirth of the land of the Cedars, and to be the defenders of this land, our homeland, on the outside as we are its guards on the inside.”

“- There is no independence without freedom. Independence is not only through the preservation of borders, but independence is also the preservation of identity,” said Bassil while addressing the crowd of attending conferees.

“- We meet as Lebanese at the second conference on foreign energy in Latin America, in Cancun, the jewel of the Atlantic Ocean, in a Lebanese-owned resort, where the atmosphere of the meeting is warmer, and at a time when human relations are heading towards colder emotions and international relations towards more heated interests.”

“- We tour the world carrying an independent Lebanese foreign policy based on the principles, values and interests of Lebanon alone. We have a Lebanese policy that is based on connecting the Lebanese to their homeland and linking them to each other.”

“- We are here to restore your Lebanese citizenship through the law of nationality restoration, which Lebanon has approved for you, not to increase the number of Lebanese but because you are an elite entity and every Lebanese is a resourceful energy.”

“- We are here to give you the political right to participate in the determination of the fate of your country, since the recent election law has given you the right to vote in the parliamentary elections and the right to be represented by deputies for the Diaspora,” the Foreign Minister went on assuredly.

“- Your Lebanese identity does not conflict with your Latin identity, neither in ideology nor in law nor in tax.” asserted Bassil.

The energetic minister concluded reassuringly by saying:
“- We resorted to the world when the prospects for success in our country were blocked. We resorted to your countries not as displaced or needy, but instead brought along our capabilities, so we merged and excelled while vehemently preserving our roots. We are a people who love peace and freedom and we have given it to every needy person or refugee and have grown to respect all peoples.”

Hala Hayek Najjar