Hungary's foreign minister has said that Lebanon plays a key role in the security of Europe and the survival of Christian communities in the Middle East.
Peter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, made the remarks following talks with his Lebanese counterpart Gebran Bassil, House Speaker Nabih Berri, Economy Minister Raed Khoury and senior Lebanese businesspeople.
The minister said that more than a quarter of those living in Lebanon are refugees, mostly from Syria. If Lebanon loses its stability or fails to cater for the refugees, the latter will set off for Europe and the arrival of around 2 million new migrants would obviously pose an unsolvable task for the EU.
Minister Szijjártó highlighted how important it was for Europe to maintain Lebanon’s stability, and Hungary would double the 400 million EUR allocated to Lebanon for refugee services under an agreement with the EU in order to help economic development.
Lebanon also plays a crucial role in the preservation of Christian communities, with Christians representing 35-40 percent of the population there, the minister said.
The Hungarian government has also decided to support the Lebanese government in a scheme to rebuild Christian churches by providing 1.5 million EUR for the reconstruction of 32 churches, he added.