Brussels, 26 October 2023 (TDI): The EU high representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, held a productive meeting with Lebanon Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib in Brussels.
The discussion centered on the regional implications of the conflict between Israel and Hamas and emphasized the crucial need to prevent any further escalation.
High Representative Borrell informed Foreign Minister Bou Habib of the EU’s diplomatic efforts, including recent visits to the region aimed at contributing to de-escalation and fostering a sustainable resolution to the conflict.
Both parties emphasized the necessity for all actors to protect civilians and exercise the utmost restraint to prevent further escalation.
During the meeting, both officials expressed concern over the loss of innocent lives and the significant displacement of civilians near the Lebanese-Israeli border.
Borrell reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to Lebanon’s stability and security. He called for the full respect of relevant UN Security Council resolutions by all parties involved.
Borrell highlighted the urgency of maintaining Lebanon’s policy of disassociation from regional conflicts.
And urged all actors in Lebanon to refrain from actions that could contribute to the escalation and spillover of hostilities, negatively impacting the Lebanese people. He appreciated Lebanon’s role in the collective efforts for peace in the region.
Borrell and Foreign Minister Bou Habib recognized the essential role of the UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon), which includes contributions from many EU Member States in maintaining stability and security.
In addition, both officials acknowledged the valuable cooperation between UNIFIL and the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and discussed current EU cooperation efforts, particularly under the European Peace Facility to support the LAF.
Borrell reaffirmed the EU’s call for Lebanese decision-makers to intensify efforts to address the prolonged domestic institutional and economic crises.