BEIRUT: President Michel Sleiman voiced hope Tuesday that the new government’s policy statement will be finalized and approved before the International Support Group for Lebanon's meeting in Paris set for next week , according to a statement from his office.
“Finalizing the ministerial statement and winning a vote of confidence before the Paris conference would make the implementation of the conference’s resolutions easier, especially since two other conferences will be held by the support group in Italy and Germany,” he said.
A ministerial committee has been holding meetings since last week to draft the controversial policy statement of the new government.
The president’s remarks came during a meeting with a delegation of ambassadors of support group member countries.
“The Paris meeting is aimed at assessing what was achieved by the support group meeting in New York [in September],” Sleiman said.
The president added that the conference should also outline “the necessary measures to support Lebanon on the political, economic, and military levels.”
“It should also address the issue of Syrian refugees in Lebanon,” Sleiman said.
The support group was inaugurated in New York in September 2013, on the sidelines of the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly. It aims to mobilize support for Lebanon and its institutions, and to help the country address the influx of Syrian refugees.
The March 5 conference in Paris is scheduled to be followed by a conference in Rome to support the Army with military aid at the end of March. The date for a third conference, set to take place in Germany, has not yet been announced.