(MENAFN- Gulf Times) The State of Qatar participated in the Economic Conference for Development in Lebanon (Cedar Conference), which opened yesterday in the French capital, Paris.
Qatar's delegation to the conference was headed by HE Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dr Ahmed bin Hassan al-Hammadi.
The Secretary-General in his speech at the conference said the State of Qatar has a principled and consistent position on the issues of development partnerships in the Arab region, noting its continued contribution to providing all forms of support that to the sustainability of development in the countries of the region.
He said the State of Qatar has always been calling for necessary support to Lebanon and its people, pointing out that Qatar contributed to rebuilding entire villages following the Israeli aggression on Lebanon in 2006, and also built the infrastructure and reconstruction of churches and mosques destroyed by the brutal war, adding that Qatar continues to support this through various packages of investment in Lebanon, and the provision of economic and humanitarian assistance that helps to enable this country to overcome the difficulties it is going through.
Al-Hammadi said the recent economic reforms undertaken by the Lebanese government, the restructuring of the economic structures and the setting of priorities for the growth processes praised by the International Monetary Fund, are a catalyst for all countries of the world and international and Arab financial and economic institutions to increase their support for Lebanon's new economic path, noting that this effort 'will achieve sufficient support for promising economic growth and ensuring the sustainability of development, he said.
He also stressed that 'the State of Qatar will contribute significantly to support the new Lebanese economic plan, to reiterate its firm position in support of Lebanon so that it can achieve the desired development, and will look positively at the mechanisms and facilities provided.
'We are aware of the importance of political and social stability in Lebanon in the stability and security of the whole region. We sincerely call on all participants in this conference to support the development plan in this country, and we hope that this important conference will produce the desired results, and that Lebanon receives the support it deserves, Dr al-Hammadi added.
He noted that the crises in the countries of the region were mainly due to the deficit faced by the countries of the region in development paths, and that the threat to political and social stability in a number of countries in the region was a direct result of the wide imbalances witnessed in development processes in these countries. 'It is imperative for all to pay the utmost attention to advancing the development paths and achieving the human and social well-being of the countries and peoples of the region, in order to achieve stability and to avoid the spectre of fighting, armed conflicts and political tension, he underlined.
Lebanon has historically been an integral part of the Arab region and its political and social fabric, but it has also been distinguished by its diversity and political and social experience. It is a feature that deserves to be preserved because it represents the deep inter-relationship between different religions,
Dr al-Hammadi said, stressing that this achievement requires providing the reasons for economic and financial support to ensure the continuation of this experience and its development on a constant basis.
Al-Hammadi also referred to the wide economic difficulties faced by Lebanon during the last few years due to the political crises and armed conflicts in the region, which created continuous pressure on its economy and which has directly affected the rates of economic growth and lack of social services.
He said a favourable environment is needed to create effective economic policies that would enable it to increase economic growth and achieve development in all fields, and in particular social development, which is the mainstay of political stability and social harmony.
He also thanked the French government for organising the Economic Conference for Development in Lebanon, and for its sincere interest in the stability and advancement of the country.
He said that the French government has remained steadfast in its friendship with Lebanon and all Arab countries. 'We are deeply aware of this positive and constructive role on all issues of concern to the countries of the region, especially economic partnerships and support for the development process, he concluded.
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