French foreign minister visits Lebanon in show of support

French foreign minister visits Lebanon in show of support


4 photos

Estimated read time: Less than a minute

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

BEIRUT (AP) — The French foreign minister expressed support Thursday for Lebanon's efforts to battle terrorism and host refugees during a visit to Beirut.

Jean-Marc Ayrault told reporters after meeting Prime Minister Saad Hariri that France will stand by Lebanon as it seeks to contain the fallout from the war in neighboring Syria.

France is a strong supporter of Lebanon's army, which is fighting the Islamic State group and al-Qaida's Syrian branch in border areas. Both countries have been hit by a wave of terror attacks that killed scores of people over the past two years.

Lebanon is also home to some 1.2 million refugees, around a quarter of the country's population. Ayrault said France has given Lebanon 105 million euros ($110 million) to help it cope with the influx.

President Michel Aoun told Ayrault that the most suitable solution would be the eventual return of Syrian refugees to their home country.

A statement issued by Aoun's office said Ayrault formally invited him to visit France, but did provide any further details.

France, Lebanon's former colonial power, remains a major player in Lebanese politics.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Photos

Most recent World stories

Related topics

World
The Associated Press

    SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

    Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast