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Bassil calls for distancing Lebanon from Ukraine crisis

French Foreign minister Laurent Fabius (L) shakes hands with his Lebanese counterpart Gebran Bassil prior to their meeting at the French ministry in Paris, on March 4, 2014. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS SAMSON

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s foreign minister Tuesday sought France’s help in distancing the Mediterranean country from the ongoing crisis in the Ukraine.

“I asked [French Foreign Minister Laurent] Fabius to distance Lebanon from the Ukraine crisis,” Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil said in comments to pan-Arab Al-Hayat newspaper published Wednesday.

Bassil, who held talks with his French counterpart Tuesday, is in Paris as part of a delegation headed by President Michel Sleiman for a meeting of the International Support Group for Lebanon.

The Lebanese minister described Tuesday his meeting with Fabius as “constructive.”

“There are common grounds and points of consensus between both sides,” Bassil said.

“These include the agreement on the importance of stability in Lebanon and the necessity to establish a strong Army and fight terrorism.”

For his part, Fabius said his country was ready to work with Bassil to bolster ties with Lebanon, highlighting France’s commitment to the freedom, sovereignty, stability and unity of Lebanon and to supporting the Lebanese government.

 

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