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Lahoud honours Abdullah with cedar order

posted on 21/07/2001: 660 views

Lebanese President Emile Lahoud has praised President H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan for his support for Lebanon. 'Sheikh Zayed always backs Lebanon, and the most recent initiative of H.H towards Lebanon was his pledge to finance a de-mining plan in south Lebanon,' Lahoud said during a meeting with visiting UAE Minister of Information and Culture Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the Presidential Palace.

The Lebanese leader decorated Sheikh Abdullah with the Cedar order in a grand ceremony which was followed by a luncheon hosted in honour of Sheikh Abdullah and his accompanying delegation. In a statement to mark the occasion, Sheikh Abdullah said that Lebanon, by its successful resistance of Israeli occupation, represents a role model of a strong national will to liberate occupied lands. "To us, Lebanon would always continue to be a source of creativity and inspiration among Arab countries,” he said. Sheikh Abdullah pointed out that the UAE initiative to help demine South Lebanon was a modest contribution from the UAE and its people, aimed at boosting the moral and the defiance of the Lebanese people, who, he said, were now the pride of all Arabs. He said the UAE initiative, which was in line with the directives of President H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, was just a modest contribution from the UAE in support of the Lebanese people, who, through their full determination and successful resistance operations, had achieved great victory, which had become a source of pride for all Arabs. "The UAE hopes that this small contribution would contribute in strengthening the development and reconstruction efforts in Lebanon, especially in the South,”

Sheikh Abdullah added. Sheikh Abdullah had earlier called on Arab journalists to attach great importance to the important role of foreign information services to cover all Arab issues. He described as "below standard” the role being played presently by Arab external information services.

In a statement he issued last night in front of a large number of Arab politicians and pressmen during a dinner banquet held in his honour by Lebanese Information Minister, Ghazi Al Aridhi, Sheikh Abdullah said that the issue of press freedom was the main issue, which continues to serve as "a premonition among us all when it comes to dealing with all Arab issues”, adding that the new role of Arab pressman is to try to rise to international issues and standard and not to remain sunk in local issues in the light of the differences in the standards of quality of expression and press freedom. "What is needed now is an open press. No Arab information minister should become a landmine in front of an Arab pressman, working to find the truth,” Sheikh Abdullah said, adding that the Arab world was rich in good and talented pressmen, intellectuals and officials, who abound in Lebanon, for which both the UAE and Lebanon were proud of.

Sheikh Abdullah praised the good relations between the UAE and Lebanon, which, he said, the UAE considered as a model of Arab concept. He cited what Lebanon had achieved at cultural, civilisational and economic levels. "We need to be present here to help Lebanon. To save every person who sacrificed his hands or any part of his body in front of the Israeli landmines,” he said, adding that the issue of the Israeli landmines had become a bitter experience for all Lebanese people, and had, undoubtedly, served as an important experience, which exposes the tyranny and humiliation of the Zionist enemy.

He said that the duty of Arab information ministers was more than what they address during their ministerial meetings. "Arab pressmen must work in Arab countries because they knew better the interest of their countries and the nature of their works, but ministers should attach importance to external information services,” he added. For his part, the Lebanese Information Minister praised Sheikh Zayed, the UAE and its people for their support for Lebanon.

He described Sheikh Zayed's stance and initiative as a real manifestation of Arab fraternity. Al Aridhi reiterated the commitment of Sheikh Abdullah to strengthen the fraternal relations between the UAE and Lebanon, adding that this commitment was manifested in a number of initiatives, the latest of which was the support to demine Southern Lebanon.

He also praised Sheikh Abdullah for his continuous call for press freedom in Arab countries. He commend Sheikh Abdullah for his significant role in the Arab Information Ministers Conference, where, he said, Sheikh Abdullah was noted for his bold and significant contributions, which had won him the respect and admiration of the Lebanese people. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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