French President Francois Hollande on Monday decorated Prime Minister Saad Hariri with the insignia of Commander in the Legion of Honor over his contributions to Lebanon in the past decade, telling him that Lebanon “can always count on France's assistance and support.”
Hollande also acknowledged that the presence of “1.5 million Syrian refugees” in Lebanon is a major burden on the country, noting that “this requires the solidarity of the international community and France with Lebanon.”
Hariri had begun his official visit to France earlier in the day by meeting his French counterpart Bernard Cazeneuve.
A statement issued by Hariri's office said talks with Cazeneuve tackled “the latest developments in Lebanon and the region, the repercussions of the Syrian refugee crisis, and means to strengthen and develop the relations between the two countries.”
“I wanted to visit Prime Minister Cazeneuve and thank him for everything that France is doing... I explained to the prime minister the situation in Lebanon and informed him that we will attend the Brussels conference and we hope that France will play a big role,” said Hariri after the talks.