Italian Deputy Foreign Minister visits Lebanon

The Italian Embassy in Beirut announced today, Saturday, in a statement, that Italian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Marina Sereni is visiting Lebanon until Tuesday.

The Italian chancellor announced that “the deputy minister will meet, among others, the President of the Republic, Michel Aoun, the resigned Prime Minister Hassan Diab, and the outgoing Minister of Foreign Affairs, Charbel Wehbe.” She should also meet with the Maronite Patriarch Bechara al-Rahi. The Italian embassy added in its press release that “meetings with representatives of civil society, Lebanese political movements and Italian NGOs operating in Lebanon are also included in the program.”

Marina Sereni will also tour the country on Sunday to oversee projects supported by Italy: the wastewater treatment plant in Zahle and the Sursock Museum in Beirut.

In the grip of economic and social collapse, Lebanon has been living without a government for more than nine months, after the resignation of Hassan Diab’s government, following the deadly bombings last summer in the Beirut port. Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri and Mr. Aoun, both involved in personal and political quarrels, accuse each other of obstructing the process. In the face of the continuing impasse, France, which is heavily involved in the Lebanese file, decided to impose entry restrictions on its territory on Lebanese personalities involved in corruption. The European Union is also looking into a sanctions mechanism, as is the case with the United Kingdom.

The Italian Embassy in Beirut announced today, Saturday, in a statement, that the Italian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Marina Sereni, is visiting Lebanon until Tuesday. Prime Minister Hassan Diab and the outgoing minister have resigned …

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