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Mikati stresses dialogue, mutual respect at Francophone celebration
Wednesday, Mar 20, 2024

NNA – Caretaker Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, on Wednesday emphasized that Lebanon's only choice for progress is through constructive dialogue, mutual respect, and embracing tolerance, particularly within diversity. He highlighted the importance of humanitarian values, such as those embodied by the Francophonie, in navigating ethical and moral challenges.

Mikati's remarks came during a celebration marking the International Day of the Francophonie held at the Grand Serail.

"For us Lebanese, celebrating the Francophonie goes beyond our linguistic affiliation because, as former President Senghor said, 'Francophonie is culture. It is a way of thinking and behaving. It is using the French language as a tool for coexistence, beyond our national or regional languages, to enhance our cultural and technical cooperation, despite the differences in our civilizations.' These humanitarian principles of participation, solidarity, brotherhood, and justice are precisely what distinguish the cradle of French speakers, which we proudly share without denying anything from our Lebanese identity,” Mikati said.

"Lebanon, unique in its pluralism, which is a mosaic of political ideologies and religious sects, has no choice but to follow the path of constructive dialogue, mutual respect, and tolerance, which represents harmony within diversity. These principles have always guided my political action, and I am more attached to them at this moment of the multidimensional crisis that we must face with solidarity, cooperation, and calm. Unfortunately, in addition to this crisis, we are still victims of the Israeli aggression, which continues to violate the international law by targeting civilians and infrastructure, and persists in the deliberate destruction of natural and agricultural ecosystems,” Mikati added.

"We, the Lebanese, are determined to live and never surrender. I would like to take this opportunity of our meeting to extend greetings to the first Lebanese French-speaking newspaper, 'L'Orient-Le Jour,' which launched its centenary celebrations in February. This newspaper has always defended, despite the winds and tides, a free, pluralistic, and sovereign Lebanon, always standing as a fierce defender of public freedoms and freedom of the press. To its entire family, and to all free and responsible media, warm congratulations,” Mikati concluded.

In his speech, Levon Amirjanyan, Representative of the Francophonie Organization for the Middle East, highlighted Lebanon's central role in promoting the French language and Francophonie values in the region, noting Lebanon's contributions to building institutional Francophonie and showcasing linguistic diversity through its cultural diversity.

The Tunisian Ambassador to Lebanon and President of the Francophone Ambassadors Group in Lebanon, Burawi Al-Imam , expressed determination to work together as French-speaking ambassadors in coordination with our Lebanese friends for a stable, prosperous, and leading Lebanon in the region, hoping that Lebanon would quickly regain its role as a model country for coexistence.

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كلمة الرئيس نجيب ميقاتي خلال مؤتمر القمة العربية في البحرين