BEIRUT: German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier is set to visit Lebanon at the end of January, a source from Baabda Palace said Wednesday.
The source told The Daily Star that Steinmeier was expected to arrive on Jan. 29 and leave on Jan. 31.
The source underscored the importance of the visit, saying, "We all know Germany's key role in Europe and there is no doubt that the visit will [demonstrate good will towards Lebanon] ahead of the planned donor conferences."
Three major donor conferences aimed at securing support for Lebanon are scheduled in the first half of 2018, starting with the Rome II conference in February, which will focus on further bolstering Lebanon's security apparatuses.
The Rome conference will be followed by Brussels II, with an emphasis on the Syrian conflict and refugee crisis, and Paris IV, held in support of Lebanon's economy and infrastructure.
A statement from the Lebanese presidency said that Steinmeier's trip had been arranged at the invitation of President Michel Aoun. The two leaders would look at ways to develop the Lebanese-German relationship through various sectors, the statement said.
A statement from the German Embassy in Beirut said the visit would be "the first of a German head of state to the Lebanese Republic."
The statement added: "The visit of the Federal President is an expression of the excellent German-Lebanese relations, and reflects Germany’s respect and appreciation for a stable, prosperous and multi-confessional Lebanon."