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German Foreign Minister stops over to Cyprus from Lebanon
2006-08-08 16:34:39

Larnaca, Aug 8 -- German Minister of Foreign Affairs Frank Walter Steinmeier has expressed his country's gratitude for the transportation of over 6,000 German citizens from Lebanon back home.

Mr. Steinmeier had a meeting on Tuesday at Larnaca Airport with Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs George Lillikas on his return from Lebanon.

Mr. Steinmeier, speaking through an interpreter, said: "I just came from a brief visit to Lebanon and this takes place against the background of a situation that has been keeping us extremely worried for a few weeks now and I think that we believe that the people have suffered enough and we have to do everything we can to see that the weapons and the arms can be silenced".

Referring to discussions at the UN Security Council regarding the Middle East crisis, the German Foreign Minister said it seems "we can be hopeful that we might have a decision and a resolution before the end of the week."

He added that "we also talked about the recent decision by the Lebanese government to send in 15,000 Lebanese troops to Southern Lebanon."

"I think that this decision will contribute to bring about what we all wished for quite some time and that is to see an independent, a strong, a sovereign and a stable Lebanon, a country, the government of which is able to exercise its authority to the whole of the country as a whole, and in so doing we will contribute to stability in the region as a whole and I hope that Lebanon too will be able to contribute and will be willing to contribute to the stability of the region as a whole," Mr. Steinmeier also said.

Referring to his visit to Cyprus, Mr. Steinmeier said he was also there "to say a word of gratitude, to thank the government of the Republic of Cyprus for the enormous efforts that it has undertaken, for the immense help that it has provided to us in helping us get German citizens out of Lebanon."

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