Aoun welcomes Brazilian FM, discloses direct flights from Lebanon to Spain


President of the Republic, Michel Aoun, on Tuesday described relations between Lebanon and Brazil as "historic", especially with the presence of more than 8 million Brazilians of Lebanese origin.

The President also thanked Brazil for supporting Lebanon in regional and international forums, as well as for its assistance to the Lebanese Armed Forces, especially in the field of training.

During his meeting with visiting Brazilian Foreign Minister, Nunes Ferreira, the President went on to heap praise on Brazil's participation in UNIFIL's naval force operating in South Lebanon.

The President requested of his visitor to support Lebanon's demands to curtail attempts to dwindle UNIFIL's budget. 

"UNIFIL plays an essential role in preserving peace in South Lebanon, especially in light of the continued Israeli aggression against the country's sovereignty. This is not to mention the most recent Israeli attempts to build a concrete wall off the Lebanese border, and along the disputed areas, in line with Israel's claim of ownership of Block 9 in the exclusive economic zone," Aoun said.

The Lebanese President went on to highlight the paramount importance of Brazil's participation in the three conferences that will be held in support of Lebanon in Rome, Paris and Brussels.

President Aoun also lauded Brazil's support for Lebanon being the international center for dialogue among civilizations, cultures, and religions. He also praised Lebanon's participation in a project establishing a free trade zone with the Mercosur countries, which includes Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. 

Moreover, Aoun disclosed the launch of direct flights between Lebanon and Spain, making it easier for Lebanese and Latin American nationals to travel to and from Lebanon.

For his part, the Brazilian Minister relayed to Aoun the greetings of Brazilian President, Michel Tamer. He also confirmed his country's participation in the conferences of support for Lebanon in Rome, Paris and Brussels, adding that his country looked forward to the completion of negotiations en route to Lebanon's accession to the Mercosur market.

The Brazilian Minister also stressed the importance of maintaining security and stability in Lebanon in accordance with resolution 1701, confirming his country's wish to maintain UNIFIL's "number and role".

Ferreira also hailed "the wisdom of President Aoun in managing Lebanon's affairs." He expressed as well "the appreciation of Brazil and the international community for the care and attention that Lebanon gives to the Syrian refugees in Lebanon.