BEIRUT, Dec. 22 (Xinhua) -- Visiting French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Jean-Marc Ayrault said Thursday that France will do everything to keep Lebanon away from Syrian conflict.
According to a statement by Prime Minister Saad Hariri's media office, Ayrault said that his country wants "to do everything possible to keep Lebanon away from the Syrian conflict and at the same time stand by Lebanon's side in its fight against terrorism."
Ayrault said that "France is a faithful friend of Lebanon, and will continue to help the country to face its economic difficulties and pressure of refugees who are the result of the conflict in Syria. That is why France is committed toward Lebanon, including financially. Lebanon is the country in this region that benefits from the largest aid of France and this will continue."
He added "I also remind that France is present in the UNIFIL and will continue to be. We also hope that Lebanon can continue its dialogue with neighboring countries and in particular with Saudi Arabia, the Gulf countries, Egypt and of course with Iran."
Ayrault, who arrived on Lebanon Wednesday evening, will meet with President Michel Aoun and his Lebanese counterpart Gebran Bassil during his visit.