In an interview with state-run news agency MENA, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri said that he called on President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to take part in training the Lebanese army; a request to which Sisi responded favorably during their meeting at the presidential palace on Wednesday.
Hariri praised Sisi’s understanding of the difficult situation in Lebanon in the presence of around 1.5 million Syrians, among them many Christian families, in addition to the Israeli daily threats.
At the meeting, the two statesmen tackled widening bilateral cooperation in all fields, as well as recent developments in Arab countries.
“We also addressed the situation in the region especially the Syrian crisis and its consequences, and regional intervention from other countries. We also discussed ways to enhance the trade exchange between Egypt and Lebanon,” he said.
Hariri went on to say, “our main target is strengthening the Lebanese army and providing it with military power, as it is time for Lebanon to decide its destiny on its own.”
Regarding the Arab summit, Hariri said that relations between Arab nations should be priorized; stressing that there is more to unite the Arabs than their differences.
“We should focus on positive aspects and put aside anything else,” he added.
Regarding his visit to Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb and to Pope Tawadros, Hariri said that we, in the Middle East, are the originators of the idea of coexistence: "Muslims and Christian Arabs originated in the region, then spread out to the rest of the world."
“My presence in both Al-Azhar and the Coptic church stresses that we should maintain our coexistence,” he added.
“We represent moderation in the Islamic World. I refuse anything that says that all Muslims believe in these extremist ideas. We have 1.5 billion Muslims and the extremists do not exceed 50,000-100,000,” he added.
Regarding the possibility that the US administration would brand the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group, in addition to the so-called "Islamic State", Hariri said that Donald Trump was elected by his people and that he has interests in the region upon which he will decide his coming policies and we are waiting for that.