Aoun: Israeli claims about missile sites bogus

President Michel Aoun on Monday deprecated the Israeli enemy's continuous claims about the presence of missile sites in populated areas in Lebanon, especially nearby Rafic Hariri International Airport.

"These allegations are bogus and they are taking place while the Israeli violation of the Lebanese sovereignty persists," Aoun said.

The President's remarks came during his meeting at Baabda palace with the United Kingdom's Senior Defence Advisor for the Middle East, Lieutenant General Sir John Gordon Lorimer, and an accompanying delegation.

Talks reportedly featured high on the security and military situation in Lebanon and the broader region, in addition to the bilateral cooperation between the Lebanese and British armies.

During the meeting, Aoun thanked the British government for its support for the Lebanese army in its battle against terrorism, highlighting the necessity to keep vigil in order to preserve stability and security.

The President also tackled Lebanon's position from the displaced Syrians' issue and the necessity that they return home. Accordingly, he welcomed that ongoing efforts aiming to reach a solution to the Syrian crisis.

Aoun also warned of dividing Syria, stressing on the Syrian territorial integrity.

"Lebanon cannot await the political solution to this crisis so that the displaced return to Syria," he underlined.

Moreover, Aoun renewed calls to work on reaching a permanent and just solution to the Palestinian Cause, underlining the reverberations of cutting the funding of UNRWA and the implicit intentions to settle Palestinians in the host countries.

Separately, Aoun cabled Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, to whom he offered condolences following the deadly attack that had targeted a bus with Coptic pilgrims on board.

Aoun had earlier met with the Apostolic Nuncio to Lebanon, Joseph Spiteri, who conveyed to him a letter from Pope Francis.

In his letter, Pope Francis maintained that "the cause of peace in the Middle East, just like elsewhere in the world, constitutes a common concern we share with President Michel Aoun."

The Pope also expressed hope that the relations between Lebanon and the

Holy See would contribute to finding effective and permanent solutions to the conflicts in the region.

Spiteri also informed the President of the imminent visit of the Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, to Lebanon.

Source: National News Agency