Beirut, 27th July 2000



Intervention of H.E. the Ambassador of Austria

Mr. Helmut Freudenschuss


-         Thank Prime Minister and his colleagues, ministerial and others, for their initiative in convening this conference, for providing the documents in front of us, which will be studied carefully, and for organizing yesterday’s excursion to the South which enabled me to share in the joy of liberation and to hear directly from the population about their most pressing needs.


-         Austria has not only supported Lebanon politically before the Israeli withdrawal, (the recent reopening of our Embassy in Beirut is one sign of this support), but will also do her part in the post withdrawal phase.


-         In addition to our considerable contributions as a member of the European Union and as a major donor of UNDP, Austrians have contributed, over the past years, approx. 5 million US $ in humanitarian assistance to various projects, including some in the South such as in Saida and Sour.


-         Assure you that I will personally leave no stone unturned in my effort to maintain, and if possible extend, our cooperation with friendly Lebanon.