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Mikati engages in high-level discussions with UNIFIL Commander, World Bank delegation
Wednesday, Mar 06, 2024

NNA - Caretaker Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, on Wednesday welcomed UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Lieutenant General Aroldo Lázaro, with whom he discussed the situation in southern Lebanon and the ongoing cooperation between the Lebanese Army and UNIFIL.

Prime Minister Mikati also welcomed World Bank Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa, Ferid Belhaj, along with the Regional Director for the Middle East at the World Bank, Jean-Christophe Carret.

Belhaj stated after the meeting, "Today, I had a meeting with Prime Minister Najib Mikati, marking my latest official visit to Lebanon. It provided an opportunity to discuss regional issues, particularly economic, social, and security conditions. We discussed upcoming projects to be reviewed by the Cabinet and Parliament for their approval and implementation."

"We’ve also discussed a study conducted by the World Bank on the economic and social impact of Syrian refugee influx into Lebanon. A similar study was conducted ten years ago, presented to the Security Council, which rallied support for Lebanon. This new study evaluates the economic and social repercussions and will be presented to donors and the Lebanese public to understand the budgetary pressures, economic, and social contractions in Lebanon,” Belhaj explained.

Regarding the cost of the Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon, Belhaj said that the cost amounted to approximately $1.5 billion, and that it was imperative for all stakeholders or donors to contribute significantly, as Lebanon alone couldn’t bear this cost.

Furthermore, Prime Minister Mikati held discussions with Minister of Telecommunications, Johnny Corm, and the Director-General of OGERO, Imad Kreidieh, to address ministry affairs.

Mikati also welcomed Marwan Sehnaoui, President of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Malta.

"We’ve discussed the upcoming visit of Prime Minister of Malta, Ricardo Paterno, with a delegation to Lebanon in April,” Sehnaoui said, outlining the details of the visit and the scheduled meetings.

Moreover, Premier Mikati welcomed at the Grand Serail, a delegation from the “National Moderation” bloc, which included MPs: Walid Al-Baarini, Ahmed Al-Khair, and Ahmed Rustom, in addition to the Bloc’s Secretary, Hadi Hobeish, in the presence of MP Bilal Al-Hashimi.

The delegation briefed the Premier on their presidential election initiative, and raised with the PM affairs related to the Akkari district.

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كلمة الرئيس نجيب ميقاتي خلال مؤتمر القمة العربية في البحرين