President Kersti Kaljulaid met with Lebanese president Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Friday to discuss issues concerning security and the establishment of a digital society.
The president congratulated Aoun on assuming office and recognized Lebanon’s ability to cope with the big challenges of its complicated region, spokespeople for the president said on Friday.
Aoun thanked Estonia for its contribution to assuring peace on the UNIFIL mission, and expressed interest in Estonia's e-governance experience.
“Estonia will gladly share its experience and knowledge regarding building a digital society,” Kaljulaid said, and invited Lebanon’s representatives to visit Estonia to get acquainted with its e-government systems and development towards a digital society.
Kaljulaid also met with the Lebanese prime minister, Saad Hariri. The subject of the meeting once again were security issues, including the Syrian crisis and the fight against terrorism and the Islamic State (Daesh). They also discussed how the European Union and the global community could contribute more to solving the crisis.
“We both have a clear understanding that joint contribution to the development of Lebanon is actually a contribution to global security and as well as to our own. Therefore, what is happening in Lebanon does not leave us cold for a second,” Kaljulaid said.
In Beirut, Kaljulaid also met with representatives of United Nations organizations, with whom she discussed the humanitarian situation in the region as well as the impact of the Syrian war.
“For the past four years Estonia has consistently contributed to solving the refugee crisis in Lebanon, including financially. It is a small country that has to cope with a huge number of refugees in one of the most complicated regions in the world. The situation of the Syrian refugees as well as supporting Lebanon in dealing with it has to be kept in the focus of the global community,” Kaljulaid said.
According to Kaljulaid, the situation of refugee children needed special attention, and the global community needed to make sure that these children had access to an education to keep them from becoming a lost generation.
On Friday the president also met with speaker of the Lebanese parliament, Nabih Berri.
Kaljulaid is scheduled to meet with members of the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) currently serving on the United Nations Interim Force (UNIFIL) in Lebanon.
Editor: Dario Cavegn