President Pavlopoulos Meets with Lebanese Counterpart Aoun in Beirut

Greece President Prokopios Pavlopoulos, left, listen to the national anthems with his Lebanese counterpart Michel Aoun, right, upon his arrival at the Presidential palace, in Baabda, east of Beirut, Thursday, April 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

Europe has not assumed the obligations it should have assumed in the Middle East war, President Prokopios Pavlopoulos stressed on Thursday during his meeting with the president of Lebanon, General Michel Aoun.

“Our great European family has not assumed the part of its responsibilities, based on its history and culture, as far as it regards the war in the Middle East with significant consequences on the people and their fundamental rights,” President Pavlopoulos said.

The Greek president, in Lebanon following an invitation by his counterpart, invited Aoun to visit Greece and referred to bilateral relations between the two countries as “a resounding answer to those who claim that there is a conflict of civilizations.” He added that during these troubled times, there is a lack of communication and mutual understanding between cultures, which is dangerous for their peaceful coexistence. “Our countries and our peoples resist this lack of communication and mutual understanding bravely and decisively.”

Regarding outstanding issues in the region including those concerning Lebanon,  he said they need to be resolved in a constructive spirit on the basis of the International Law and the decisions of the United Nations. “Such a solution can only be found after the territorial integrity of Lebanon is safeguarded across the breadth and the length of its maritime and land borders, and after respecting the right of all countries in the region, without exceptions, to live in security within their recognised borders, according to international law,” he noted.

Greece President Prokopios Pavlopoulos, center, reviews the honor guard upon his arrival at the Presidential palace, in Baabda, east of Beirut, Thursday, April 11, 2019. Pavlopoulos is in Lebanon for a two day visit to meet with Lebanese officials. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

Greece and the Greeks support “a united, powerful and peaceful Lebanon, in a thriving eastern Mediterranean, where all its peoples will coexist together, building together their common future,” the President underlined, adding that Greece recognizes Lebanon’s great contribution to defending the fundamental principles and values of humanity and solidarity.

He also referred to the trilateral cooperation of Greece, Cyprus and Lebanon, noting that it has produced very positive results, with more to follow.

“Greece and Cyprus have made it clear, urbi et orbi, that these partnerships are not against anyone, nor do they even remotely aim at isolating or weakening other countries,” Pavlopoulos asserted. “On the contrary, such partnerships should constitute an ever-expanding network of parallel initiatives, aiming ultimately at convergence, in order to consolidate the peaceful coexistence of peoples and their joint creative course at all levels.”

Pavlopoulos is on a two-day visit as of Thursday. He is also scheduled to meet Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri today, while on Friday he will visit the community of Balaam and Patriarch John I of Antioch.

Greece President Prokopios Pavlopoulos, left, shakes hands and speaks with his Lebanese counterpart Michel Aoun, right, upon his arrival at the Presidential palace, in Baabda, east of Beirut, Thursday, April 11, 2019. Pavlopoulos is in Lebanon for a two day visit to meet with Lebanese officials. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

Greece President Prokopios Pavlopoulos, right, speaks with his translator at the Lebanese presidential palace, in Baabda, east of Beirut, Thursday, April 11, 2019. Pavlopoulos is in Lebanon for a two day visit to meet with Lebanese officials. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
Greece President Prokopios Pavlopoulos, center, reviews the honor guard with his Lebanese counterpart Michel Aoun, left, upon his arrival at the Presidential palace, in Baabda, east of Beirut, Thursday, April 11, 2019. Pavlopoulos is in Lebanon for a two day visit to meet with Lebanese officials. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
Greece President Prokopios Pavlopoulos, left, shakes hands with his Lebanese counterpart Michel Aoun, right, upon his arrival at the Presidential palace, in Baabda, east of Beirut, Thursday, April 11, 2019. Pavlopoulos is in Lebanon for a two day visit to meet with Lebanese officials. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
Greece President Prokopios Pavlopoulos, left, reviews the honor guard with his Lebanese counterpart Michel Aoun, right, upon his arrival at the Presidential palace, in Baabda, east of Beirut, Thursday, April 11, 2019. Pavlopoulos is in Lebanon for a two day visit to meet with Lebanese officials. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)