(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) By Mohammad Al-Bahar
KUWAIT, Jan 26 (KUNA) -- Lebanese President Michel Aoun said his country and Kuwait maintained identical stances and exemplary relations on the state-to-state and people-to-people levels.
The distinctive nature of the relationship is that both countries have contradictions in neither views nor targets, he said in an interview with KUNA and Kuwait TV.
President Aoun, who was a state visit to Kuwait recently, said the bilateral ties are based on mutual respect, which opens new horizons for the constantly growing cooperation in such areas as economic development, education and culture.
He appreciated the supportive stances of His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah towards Lebanon, saying that Kuwait, under the leadership of His Highness the Amir, offered essential financial assistance to various development projects in Lebanon in the recent years.
"The loans and grants, offered by Kuwaiti financial institutions such as Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), helped shore up the economy and rehabilitate the infrastructure in Lebanon.
"These assistances helped Lebanon to shift from an interest-based economy to a production-based one," he pointed out.
Regarding the talks he has had in Kuwait, President Aoun said they reviewed a range of bilateral issues as well as the latest developments of the situations in the region.
"The cordial and candid discussions proved once again that both countries hold identical views on all issues of common concern," he affirmed.
He called on the Lebanese community in Kuwait to continue working hard and contributing to the amicable relations between both countries.
Dealing with Lebanon's domestic affairs, President Aoun said his country was able to restore security and stability in the recent months thanks to the great efforts of the army and the security forces.
"The security services managed to eradicate the elements of the so-called Islamic State (IS) in the Lebanese territories dismantle several terrorist cells through preventive measures," he stressed.
"The conflict in the region had had serious impacts on the security and political situations in Lebanon," he said, noting that he has been able, since he assumed office in October 2016, to reduce the domestic conflicts to the political aspect only.
He ruled out the possibility of prosperity and development without genuine national partnership involving all components of the society.
"There is a national consensus on the need to focus on exploitation of the oil and gas resources in Lebanon in the coming stage. Another priority of Lebanon is to set the stage for parliamentary elections, due in this May," he revealed.
He blamed the security and economic difficulties seen by Lebanon over the last six years, on the mass exodus of Syrian refugees into Lebanon, saying that nearly 50 percent of the Syrian refugees fled to Lebanon, thus adding burdens on the Lebanese budget.
He extolled His Highness the Amir for his great efforts to cement the Arab unity, promote joint action and mediate in disputes in the region.
The Lebanese leader also commended the humanitarian initiatives of His Highness the Amir that helped alleviate the suffering of many people inside and outside the Middle East region.
In recognition of Kuwait's generous contributions to the relief efforts, the United Nations conferred the titles of "Humanitarian Leader" on His Highness the Amir and "Global Humanitarian Center" on Kuwait, he went on.
President Aoun called on the international community to nominate His Highness the Amir for the Nobel Peace Prize.
In this regard, he recalled the role of His Highness the Amir in the tripartite committee on political solution to the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990).
His Highness the Amir - the then foreign minister of Kuwait, offered a proposal to the meeting of the committee in Tunis in 1989 which was acceptable to majority of parties to the Lebanese crisis, the president added.
During his stay in Kuwait on January 23-24, President Aoun held talks with His Highness the Amir on a range of bilateral and regional issues. (end) mab.gb