Foreign Minister emphasises special need for help on working visit to Lebanon

A Monegasque delegation led by Gilles Tonelli, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, made a working visit to Lebanon from April 9 to 13, to strengthen friendship and cooperation between the two states.

The Monegasque delegation was received by the President of Lebanon, Michel Aoun. Other meetings with the Lebanese authorities facilitated discussions on the partnerships supported by the Monegasque Cooperation, in health, education and the socio-economic integration of the most vulnerable populations.

During the trip Gilles Tonelli signed a memorandum of understanding with the Regional Director of the European Institute of Cooperation and Development (IECD), Nicolas Pinton, in support of very small companies in North Lebanon.

At the invitation of Fondation Mérieux, the Lebanese NGO Amel and the Municipality of Douris, which Monaco supports, the Minister also took part in the official ceremony of laying the foundation stone of a Mother Child Health Centre in Douris. The facility, located in the plain of Bekaa, will improve maternal and child health in the region.

Bilateral cooperation between the two states was initiated in 1993. In the current context of the Syrian crisis and international efforts in support of Lebanon, the Principality wishes to direct part of the increase in its Official Development Assistance in favour of this country.

Today Lebanon is the first-ranking host country in terms of number of refugees compared to its national population, with one refugee for three Lebanese. Many of the refugees are displaced Palestinians who have lived in Lebanon for several generations.

The Monegasque delegation was composed of: Gilles Tonelli, Minister of External Relations and Cooperation, Bechara K. El Khoury, Honorary Consul of Monaco in Lebanon, Bénédicte Schutz, Director of International Cooperation, Emilie Larese-Silvestre , Program Coordinator of the International Cooperation Directorate, Elodie Martin, Lebanon Program Manager at the Directorate of International Cooperation and Joseph Hayek, a colleague of the Monaco Consul in Lebanon.