Lassen Visits Army Outpost in Arsal, Discusses EU Support
The Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Lebanon, Ambassador Christina Lassen, visited on Thursday the 9th Brigade of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) deployed around the northeastern town of Arsal, an official statement said.
Lassen also held meetings with the Head of the Municipality of Arsal, Bassel el-Hujeiri, and with UN agencies representatives.
"The visit was an opportunity to pay tribute to the LAF for the successful mission conducted against extremist groups in the area and to renew the condolences for the loss of Lebanese soldiers," said the statement.
Lassen reiterated the European Union’s full support to the LAF's mission in fighting terrorism and to secure Lebanon's borders.
"The EU will step up its long-term support for Integrated Border Management. The EU is and will remain engaged to support the sovereignty, stability, territorial integrity and independence of Lebanon. The EU is supporting Lebanon in its fight against terrorism," Ambassador Lassen said.
Following the visit to the 9th Brigade, Lassen met with Head of the Municipality of Arsal, Bassel el-Hujeiri, where she took stock of the situation of the local population and refugees in the town of Arsal and reassured him of EU's support.
"I am very glad to visit Arsal at this particular moment. I am aware that the citizens of Arsal have been through very challenging times recently. We hope that with the successful military victory against the extremists a new chapter can begin in this border region,” she was quoted as saying.
She also acknowledged the challenges to public services in the town posed by the refugee crisis and reiterated the on-going EU assistance for the rehabilitation of infrastructure and the provision of services.
Ambassador Lassen and Hujeiri were later joined by representatives from UNDP and UNICEF to discuss concrete support measures, particularly for the rehabilitation of waste water networks in the area.