Rampling Urges 'Impactful Reforms', Adherence to Dissociation Policy

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British Ambassador to Lebanon Chris Rampling on Wednesday urged Lebanon to implement “impactful” economic reforms and to abide by its self-declared policy of disassociation.

Rampling voiced his remarks after talks with Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil.

“The Foreign Minister and I had a positive meeting just now, and I handed over a letter of congratulations on the formation of the new government from the Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt,” the ambassador said.

“I congratulated his excellency on the formation of a new cabinet and his reappointment as foreign minister. This is an important moment for Lebanon’s stability and the economy,” he added.

Rampling said that he agreed with Bassil that UK-Lebanese relations “have never been stronger,” noting that London is currently spending $200m+ to contribute to “Lebanon’s security and prosperity.”

“We also agreed that we should further deepen our partnership over a range of areas,” the ambassador said.

“I reiterated to the Foreign Minister that the UK was planning on increasing our assistance on economic development in particular, in support of CEDRE plan and that is to provide over £90m in support and that will help to leverage much more. We want to see a vibrant and resilient Lebanese economy, with more UK firms investing here,” Rampling added.

“And to support that vision, I welcomed the commitment of the new Lebanese government moving forward swiftly with credible and impactful economic reforms,” he went on to say.

Turning to the situation in the region and its impact on Lebanon, including the huge refugee burden, Rampling said that the United Kingdom will “continue to support Lebanon” in this regard.

He added: “The UK will also continue to support Lebanese sovereignty and stability, both through assistance and through diplomacy. And at the time of increased regional uncertainty I welcome in particular the new government’s commitment to the policy of disassociation, and to the relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions, including 1701 and 1559.”

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