Beirut, Lebanon, Lebanese parliamentarians from several different parties met together for a round table discussion on December 27th, held at the Palm Beach Hotel. This was an IAPP (International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace) event: IAPP is a project initiated by UPF International.

Participants included former and current parliamentarians, a former government minister, the director of the office of the foreign ministry, and representatives from major Christian and Muslim parties:

  • H.E. Dr. Riad Rahal, a lebanese medical doctor best known for establishing the private medical center, AKKAR-RAHAL Hospital, of which he is the President General Director.
  • H.E. Bassem Shabb, Parliamentary Committee for National Defense and Interior.
  • H.E. Ambassador Elie Turk, Former president LDE, Lebanese Diaspora energy, Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The Lebanese President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, awarded Ambassador Elie Turk the National Cedar Medal with the rank of Commander in recognition of his bid for Lebanon.
  • H.E. Mr. Ghassan Abou Jaude
  • H. E.  Mr. Ali Hassan Yacoub
  • H.E. Dr. Salim Karam, a former Minister of State and long time Member of Parliament, who is from a very prominent political Family in Lebanon. He is a direct descendant of a brother of the famous national Lebanese hero, Youssef Bey Karam.

The meeting was moderated by Thomas Schellen, president of UPF Lebanon.

The theme and main focus of the discussion was "The Central Role of Political Leaders in Creating a Foundation for a Better and Prosperous Future in Lebanon." Speakers were asked to address the question, "What are the key points to consider if we are to emerge from this period of crisis?" Each of the political leaders present spoke clearly and forthrightly. Although they presented different perspectives, they all addressed the same concern: to move beyond the current crisis. It was evident that a major challenge will be to find some common ground that will allow them to work together. Yet it is equally clear that their common desire to invest for the sake of the nation is itself a sign of real hope for a better and brighter Lebanon.

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