BEIRUT: Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk met Qatar’s Prime Minister Abdullah bin Nasser II Wednesday in Doha, where he discussed Qatar’s travel advisory and the Syrian refugee crisis.
The meeting at the Interior Ministry also included the head of Doha’s General Security, the director general of international cooperation and other prominent Qatari officials.
Machnouk was accompanied by a delegation of security officials comprised of Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim, the head of Lebanon’s General Security; Gen. Ibrahim Basbous, the Internal Security Forces chief; Imad Othman, head of the ISF's Information Branch; and Beirut Governor Ziyad Shbib, as well as the head of the Lebanese-Qatari Friendship association and the Lebanese ambassador in Qatar.
Machnouk invited Abdullah to unveil the newly restored National Library in Beirut in person, after Qatar sponsored the project.
Machnouk called on officials to encourage Qatari nationals to visit Lebanon after Ramadan, stressing the importance of the issue to Lebanon’s economy.
After Saudi Arabia lifted its travel advisory to Lebanon last month, officials expressed hope that Qatar and other Gulf states would follow suit. Machnouk clarified that there was never a Qatari ban on travel to Lebanon, only an advisory warning nationals of the potential dangers.
The Qatari premier declared his full support for stability in Lebanon, highlighting the importance of distancing the country from spillover from the Syrian war. He pledged that Qatar would take an active role in supporting the country with refugee aid.
He also offered Qatari assistance with security issues, including prisons and the building the capabilities of Lebanese security forces.
The premier promised to work to secure World Cup broadcasting rights for Tele Liban, after the Lebanese TV station expressed pessimism earlier this week over securing the license.
After the meeting, Machnouk visited the national headquarters for security operations in Qatar, where he was brief on the emirate’s procedures and protocol.