Paris, May 20, 2010
Bernard Kouchner will visit Syria and Lebanon from 22 to 23 May 2010. This visit falls within the framework of the regular political dialogue that France maintains with the Syrian and Lebanese authorities, as much on bilateral issues as on regional issues of common interest.
In Damascus, Bernard Kouchner will discuss bilateral issues with President Bashar al-Assad and his counterpart, Waleed al-Muallem, following on from François Fillon’s visit on 19 and 20 February. He will also talk to his interlocutors about all aspects of the regional situation.
In Beirut, Bernard Kouchner will meet the Lebanese authorities, notably President Michel Suleiman and Prime Minister Saad Hariri. This visit, which follows Michel Suleiman and Saad Hariri’s visit to Paris in January, will allow Bernard Kouchner to reaffirm France’s support for the Lebanese authorities and the efforts of the national unity government led by Saad Hariri.
The Minister will reaffirm France’s commitment to the implementation of UNSCR 1701 and the role of UNIFIL in which France has deployed nearly 1,500 men. He will also talk to his interlocutors about the strengthening of Franco-Lebanese bilateral relations.
During these meetings, Bernard Kouchner will reaffirm France’s commitment to regional stability and our willingness to contribute to it. He will emphasize the need for all our partners to work responsibly and constructively towards strengthening it./.