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European Commission

MEMO

Brussels, 1 March 2013

Š. Füle visiting Lebanon on 4-5 March

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle will visit Lebanon on 4th and 5th March. During his stay in Beirut he will meet President Michel Sleiman and Prime Minister Najib Miqati as well as representatives of the civil society. The main focus of the discussions will be the further strengthening of the relations between the European Union and Lebanon, already marked by an unprecedented intensity of cooperation over the past year. The Commissioner will express the EU's continued support for and encouragement of reforms in Lebanon in the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). Specific objectives of EU-Lebanon cooperation are set out in a new ENP Action Plan that the sides successfully negotiated in 2012.

The current situation in the country and in the region will be also on the agenda, especially with regard to the upcoming elections and the difficult situation caused by the large-scale influx of refugees fleeing the violence in Syria. Commissioner Füle will stress that the EU is very well aware of the many challenges Lebanon is facing both domestically and in its neighbourhood. He will announce a new financial assistance for Lebanon's efforts to cope with the refugees crisis.

The last visit of Commissioner Füle to Lebanon took place in October 2011. The EU has since then launched several financial projects to assist the government in improving living conditions and reducing social inequalities for people living on the Lebanese territory (e.g. demining, supporting the Palestinian refugees and most recently also Syrian refugees) as well as to tangibly advance economic and political reforms in the country


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