All parties should support the Lebanese government to hold general elections on time, the Turkish foreign minister said on Nov. 16.
“Everyone needs to support the government to find solutions to the crises in Lebanon and to hold the general elections on time,” Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told reporters during a joint news conference with his Lebanese counterpart Abdallah Bou Habib.
The Lebanese people, waiting for an “urgent solution” to their problems, should not have to “pay the price of regional bargaining,” Çavuşoğlu said.
Turkey always attaches importance to Lebanon’s sovereignty, security, stability, and prosperity, Çavuşoğlu noted, saying they extended the necessary support and solidarity to Lebanon after the explosions in Beirut Port and Akkar.
“We also provided support to the Lebanese army and security forces for the stability and security of Lebanon,” he said.
He went on to say that Turkey’s contribution to the UN Interim Task Force for Lebanon (UNIFIL) has been extended for another year.
Emphasizing that they want to further develop ties with Lebanon in every field, Çavuşoğlu said they discussed ways to improve relations in many fields, especially in the tourism, energy, and agriculture sectors.
He noted that Turkey is the first choice of the Lebanese people in terms of tourism, and the Turkish people’s interest and love for Lebanon are “clearly evident.”
On the Syrian crisis, he said Turkey and Lebanon are the most affected countries. He said they agreed to cooperate on the return of Syrians to their countries.
Crisis between Lebanon, some Gulf countries
Regarding the crisis between Lebanon and some Gulf countries, Çavuşoğlu said: “We want this problem to be resolved as soon as possible through diplomacy based on mutual respect and dialogue. As Turkey, we are ready to do our part.”
As for the regional issues, he said they will continue to work together with Lebanon on Palestine.
Responding to the questions of the press after the meeting, Çavuşoğlu said he received information about the developments and initiatives regarding the solution of the problem between the Gulf countries and Lebanon.
On the explosion in Beirut port in 2020, he said they visited Beirut with Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay, and noted that Turkey did its best to heal the wounds of the country by providing around $5 million in support.
He added that he is ready to do his best with his companies for the construction of Beirut port and Lebanon’s infrastructure and superstructure projects.
The Beirut port blast in August 2020 killed more than 200 people, wounded around 6,000, and left some 300,000 homeless besides causing massive damage and further weakening Lebanon’s already fragile economy.
After the meeting, the ministers signed a memorandum of understanding in the field of “diplomatic education” at the level of the Foreign Ministry.
Later on Tuesday, Çavuşoğlu met with Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati.
“Discussed our multidimensional relations in detail with PM @Najib_Mikati of #Lebanon. Our support to stability of brotherly Lebanon will continue,” Çavuşoğlu wrote on Twitter, sharing a photo from their meeting.