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S&D delegation visit Beirut to encourage formation of a new government and support Lebanese people


02 Sep 2021


Global Europe

From Saturday 4 to Tuesday 7 September, S&D vice-president on foreign affairs Pedro Marques will lead an S&D mission to Beirut, Lebanon, as part of the Socialists & Democrats' ongoing commitment to supporting the social and economic relaunch of Lebanon and encouraging the political factions to put aside their own short-term interests to swiftly form a new government.

The S&D Group has also requested that the European Parliament schedules a plenary debate on the current Lebanese crisis and possible ways forward. 

The S&D MEPs in the delegation will be Pedro Marques, S&D vice-president on foreign affairs, Isabel Santos, chair of the European Parliament’s delegation for relations with the Mashreq countries (DMAS), Tonino Picula, S&D foreign affairs co-ordinator, Evin Incir, the foreign affairs committee’s standing rapporteur for Palestine and vice-chair of the delegation for relations with Palestine, and Nora Mebarek, member of the delegation for relations with the Mashreq countries (DMAS).

The catastrophic port explosion of 4 August 2020 in Beirut, which caused 217 deaths, as well as leaving 7,000 people injured and 300,000 displaced, has only accelerated a deep and widespread crisis that has been crushing Lebanon’s political and economic life for years.

Hence, the formation of a stable and functional government in Beirut is essential not only to start receiving European and international aid but also to finally implement the much-needed reforms – especially tackling corruption – that have already been delayed too long. In addition, we will seek guarantees that the elections scheduled for next year will not be postponed and will be held in a free and democratic environment.

In their talks with the national authorities, NGOs, civil society and local press during the four-day political mission to Beirut, the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament will deliver a clear message: help the EU to help you.

In particular, the S&D delegation will meet the caretaker prime minister, Hassan Diab, the deputy prime minister, Zeina Akar, and the speaker of the Parliament, Nabih Berri.

As well as the institutional meetings with the Lebanese national authorities, the four-day mission will offer a chance to discuss the current situation with several NGOs and visit the port and a Palestinian refugee camp.