Germany helping Lebanon improve border security with Syria
Germany and Lebanon are working on a pilot project to improve security along Lebanon's border with Syria, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday.
A bilateral commission was looking into ways to promote economic prosperity for Lebanese in the border region, she told a news conference after talks with Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, reported dpa.
The two leaders discussed the new political situation in Lebanon following last May's Doha agreement, which ended a week of bitter fighting between followers of the anti-Syrian ruling majority and the opposition led by the fundamentalist Hezbollah.
Suleiman said that his country hoped to exchange ambassadors with Syria by the end of the year.
He said Lebanon was willing to assist the international tribunal investigating the killing of the former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri, which is due to begin operating on March 1.
"We are ready to do everything which will be of help to this tribunal," Suleiman said, adding that it should concentrate on legal issues and not become embroiled in politics.
Merkel also expressed the hope that the new US administration of president-elect Barack Obama would help move forward the Mideast peace process by taking over from where the Annapolis conference left off.
Suleiman has visited 11 states in the five months since taking office. The two-day trip to Berlin is his third visit to a European country participating in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).