For the Freedom and the Future of Lebanon

Board Member Meets Prime Minister
News16.03.2018Dirk Kunze, Philip Müller

Manfred Richter, board member and treasurer of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, met with the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri in Beirut and discussed the upcoming challenges of Lebanon with him. On this occasion both took the opportunity to look back on ten years of successful cooperation between the foundation and the Future Movement party led by the Prime Minister.

Long term partnership is important for lasting success. This is especially true in the context of politics. The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom in Beirut and the Future Movement party of current Prime Minister Saad Hariri are therefore happy to celebrate 10 years of collaboration. During the regional conference for the Middle East and North Africa region, which took place in Beirut, the foundation’s board member and Treasurer Manfred Richter came together with the Lebanese head of government Saad Hariri in his residence and talked about the upcoming challenges of Lebanon. There was certainly no lack of urgent matters to discuss. On top of the burden of hosting millions of Syrian refugees the country suffers from widespread corruption and political division. The upcoming parliamentary elections in May are going to be the first since 2009. Just a few days ago the Lebanese budget plan was put forward to the current parliament. Furthermore, the state struggles with insufficient infrastructure. Important projects such as the extension of the road network and the airport in Beirut have been on hold for many years already.

Support through conferences

Three big donor and investor conferences are expected to relieve some strains. On the 15th of March, Lebanon attempted to secure international aid for its security forces during the Rome II conference. The Paris IV (CEDRE) conference will follow on the 6th of April. Private investors for infrastructure related projects are the prime audience. The last of the conferences - titled Brussels III - is scheduled for the end of April and will focus on coping with the effects of the regional refugee crisis. Prime Minister Saad Hariri sees himself at the side of his European partners and their interests:
“Lebanon remains an anchor of stability in the region and a close partner of Europe,” he said during his meeting with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. Faced with all these challenges, Lebanon and particularly Future Movement can rely on the continuous support and cooperation of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation. “We spoke with Prime Minister Hariri about the stability of the region and the complicated situation that his government is facing. The important role that he personally sees himself playing in these times “cannot be estimated any higher” concluded board member Richter.

Long-term cooperation honored

Future Movement, whose presidency is also held by the Prime Minister, has been cooperating through joint projects and the exchange of expertise with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom for ten years now. As part of celebrations at the “Garage 664,” long-time friends and companions of the foundation were honored and Prime Minister Hariri was granted the honorary membership of the Alumni network “AlumniUM”.