German president discusses support for Lebanon during visit

January 30, 2018
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, left, reviews an honor guard on his arrival to meet with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, at the government palace, in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. Steinmeier arrived to Lebanon on Monday for a two day official visit. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

BEIRUT (AP) — German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier met with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri in Beirut on Tuesday, where they discussed Berlin’s participation in upcoming international conferences aimed at shoring up Lebanon’s security forces and boosting its economy.

The prime minister’s office said Steinmeier also met with Christian and Muslim spiritual leaders in Lebanon on the second day of his visit to the tiny Mediterranean country, which has been struggling with the fallout from the civil war in neighboring Syria.

Lebanon, which hosts around a million Syrian refugees, is gearing up for three international conferences to be held in the coming months to bolster its economy and support its army and security forces.

Steinmeier, who arrived in Lebanon Monday from neighboring Jordan, also met Tuesday with German troops who serve as part of a United Nations force. The meeting was held on board a German vessel at the port of Beirut, where he was met by the commander of the German troops in Lebanon.

Germany has 126 soldiers contributing to the UNIFIL mission in Lebanon, including the Maritime Task Force, deployed since October 2006, which supports the Lebanese navy in securing the country’s maritime borders.

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