Lebanese president thanks Kuwait for continuing support |
Kuwait Times - 18 July, 2012
Lebanese President Michel Suleiman has praised Kuwait’s continuing support for Lebanon and described relations bounding the two brotherly countries “historic and great.”
Suleiman, during a meeting with a visiting delegation of Kuwaiti journalists, indicated at substantial “similarities between the two peoples and states particularly at the level of democracy,” hailing in particularly the well-known role of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in support of Lebanon on various crucial occasions, particularly his role for crafting the Taif reconciliation agreement that resulted in ending the civil war and enacting a new constitution for the Lebanese state.
The visiting Kuwaiti delegation includes Chief Editor of the daily newspaper, Al-Anbaa, Yousef Al-Marzoug, Editor-in-Chief of Kuwait News Agency Rashed Al-Ruweished, their counterparts of An-Nahar, Imad Bou Khamseen and Majed Al-Ali of Al-Rai, Managing Director of the English-language daily, Kuwait Times, Badriyah Darwish, and Secretary of Kuwait Journalists Association Adnan Al-Rashed.
Regarding his visit to Kuwait in June, Suleiman affirmed that the mission was aimed at expressing gratitude to the Amir for substantial aid for Lebanon, through Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), and the Arab credit fund, that had been proposed by the Amir and endorsed by the Arab League, in addition to informing His Highness Sheikh Sabah about conditions in Lebanon.
Suleiman indicated that he raised during the meeting with His Highness advise for Kuwaiti citizens to abstain from traveling to Lebanon, expressing hope to see the Kuwaitis coming at the end of the fasting month of Ramadan to spend Eid Al-Fitr in the country.
The president, who has recently visited other GCC states, said he intended to deliver several messages; one to the Lebanese that Lebanon’s relations with the member states of the council remained normal and unaffected by events in neighboring Syria, a message to the GCC peoples that Beirut remained keen on maintaining excellent ties with them, and that the authorities would spare no effort to ensure their safety during their visit to the country.
“We have decided to adopt a neutral policy regarding strives taking place in Arab and non-Arab countries and we opted to inform His Highness the Amir about this stance, considering his bold attitudes in defense of just causes,” Suleiman said, addressing the eminent Kuwaiti guests.
Suleiman reiterated the government policy of maintaining a neutral policy toward regional conflicts and foiling any bids to transform the country into an arena for smuggling arms to Syria or stage armed actions against the neighboring country.
“We are abiding by the Taif accord and there are no fears that the country may witness civil war again,” Suleiman said, belittling recurring security incidents that have been taking place on the domestic front.
The Lebanese president criticized some media outlets for portraying Lebanon as an arena of tension, re-emphasizing that Lebanon would not take sides in the conflict in Syria, noting that “the unbiased policy” is also applied to incoming wounded Syrians.
However, Lebanon cannot secure medical treatment for all wounded Syrians crossing the border, the president said, alluding to limited national resources for medical treatment. But he affirmed that the authorities have been doing their best to aid serious cases. He urged the Syrians to take lessons from the Lebanese civil war and seek to agree on a consensus ruling system, constitution and electoral law, hoping that they would embrace democracy “for what is happening now is mere inflicting of human and material losses and in the end there will be no solution but through dialogue and the adoption of democracy.”
The Lebanese leader ruled out prospected flare-up of a full-scale civil war in Syria, re-indicating that the Syrians have divergent views on the avenues that should be taken to resolve the crisis.
He also expressed hope that efforts by the Arab League and the United Nations would yield fruit, politically, hoping that the military option would be brushed aside “for it would only escalate violence and boost the chances of plunging into a civil war.”
Regarding his assessment of the “Arab Spring,” Suleiman said “the Arab Spring has not blossomed sufficiently yet despite some good manifestations such as the elections in Egypt and Libya. “What’s important in this respect is follow-up, means of dealing with the constitutional authorities… and we are awaiting the end of violence because the objective of democracy is peace and prosperity.”