Lebanon: 'Help us help you', urges French FM as he calls for structural reforms in country

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian guaranteed full support to Lebanon, which has been hit with its worst economic crisis in decades, but urged the country's authorities to speed up reforms, as he met with his counterpart Nassif Hitti in Beirut on Thursday. «France will always stand by your side, with Lebanon and the Lebanese people, and will do everything necessary to help you in these difficult times, but to make it work, the Lebanese authorities must do their part of the deal», stressed Le Drian in his statement following the meeting. «Serious and credible correction measures must be implemented that practical wages are required and expected for a very long time, and as I said before the French Senate, help us help you,» demanded the French Foreign Minister. Le Drian expressed appreciation of Lebanon's «great generosity'» welcoming a «very important number of refugees» from Syria and pledged to continue helping until «a safe and decent return of the refugees to Syria» is ensured. Similar to his recent meeting with Iraqi colleague, Le Drian called Lebanon to abstain from any conflict in the Middle East. France's top diplomat also met with the Lebanese President Michel Aoun and Speaker of the Parliament Nabih Berri.
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