Rampling Visits Tripoli: A Message of Solidarity after the Attack
Following the terrorist attack that hit Tripoli on the eve of Eid al-Fitr, a delegation of EU ambassadors with British Ambassador Chris Rampling on Wednesday paid condolences to the Mayor of Tripoli, Ahmed Qamareddine, and expressed their solidarity with Lebanon and its armed forces, who “work tirelessly to maintain security and protect civilians across Lebanon,” the British embassy said.
At the Rashid Karameh Exhibition Center, the Head of the EU delegation Ambassador Christina Lassen and German Ambassador Georg Birgelen, joined by Ambassador Rampling and other EU heads of mission, attended the inauguration of the EU and German-funded Local Development Program for Deprived Urban Areas in North Lebanon (UDP_NL).
The project aims to support young people and women by supporting start-up programs for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and business development services. It also includes infrastructural support for an improved urban environment.
At the Attarin Souk Rampling and Birgelen jointly celebrated the completion of the souks rehabilitation project as part of the Lebanon Host Communities Support Program (LHSP) with the Minister of Social Affairs, Richard Kouyoumjian, and Minister of Interior, Raya al Hassan, Governor of the North, Ramzi Nohra, and Mayor of Tripoli Qamareddine.
The project focused on the rehabilitation of a 300-meter long portion of the Attarin Souk, which includes around 60 vegetable, meat, poultry, and grocery shops. The street serves over 80,000 beneficiaries who benefited from the restoration of the roof water drainage system and the rehabilitation of the shops and facades. Since 2014, UK support to LHSP has reached so far over £48 million and German support of around €48 Million.
During his Tripoli tour, Ambassador Rampling visited the Tripoli Oil Installations and was briefed by the Director General Sarkis Hleis on the role and economic value of this facility in North Lebanon and the region.
Rampling also met with former Minister Mohammed Safadi and toured the Safadi foundation and later took part in a round table discussion with civil society organized by ex-MP Mosbah al-Ahdab.
On the anniversary of HMS Victoria’s commemoration that sank off the coast of Tripoli on 22 June 1893, a remembrance service was held at the Commonwealth War Grave with dignitaries and Lebanese army officials.
At the end of his visit, Ambassador Rampling said: “Today, with my EU colleagues, we sent a strong message of support and solidarity with Tripoli and the Lebanese people. We stand together united in the face of terrorism and united in our efforts to preserve Lebanon’s stability. This was our message to the mayor and senior officials of Tripoli.”
“From grief to hope, my joint visit with my EU colleagues and German Ambassador today -- following the unfortunate attack -- is part of our commitment to a stronger relationship and partnership with Lebanon and Tripoli. It gave me great pleasure to be back to Tripoli to inaugurate the completion of UK funded project in Partnership with the Lebanese Government, notably the Ministry of Social Affairs, UNDP, local authorities and communities,” he added.
“This is my second visit to the Souks when I saw first-hand the ongoing works and now I am glad to see the rehabilitation project of the Attarin souks, completed. We hope this project will improve the lives of shop keepers, shoppers and the entire community,” Rampling went on to say.