27 June 1995
REOPENING OF AUSTRALIAN EMBASSY IN BEIRUT
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Gareth Evans and the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, Senator Nick Bolkus will reopen the Australian Embassy in Beirut on 18 July 1995.
The embassy reopening comes at a time of renewed promise within Lebanon and the wider region. Australian staff were withdrawn from the embassy in 1984.
"An era of growth and prosperity beckons in the new Lebanon. We applaud the enthusiasm with which the Lebanese people have embraced the process of national reconciliation and are heartened by the reconstruction now occurring. It is clear that the renowned capabilities and talents of the Lebanese people are once again finding their fullest expression, to the benefit of their country and, ultimately, to the wider region," the Ministers said.
"The Australian Government is encouraging the Lebanese-Australian community to develop new trade and investment opportunities in Lebanon. The Beirut embassy will serve to enhance those opportunities by strengthening dialogue and the links between the two countries. The embassy will support Australian commercial activity, as well as providing visa and consular services."
"In looking forward to a strengthened relationship, Australia is well aware of the economic and political challenges that lie ahead for Lebanon. Australia will maintain its full support for Lebanon's independence and continue to support the early implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 425, calling for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Southern Lebanon. We oppose any activity in Lebanon which compromises Lebanese sovereignty. We look forward to a time when comprehensive peace will be enjoyed throughout the region, with Lebanon as an important beneficiary of that situation," the Ministers said.
The signing of the Taif Accord in October 1991 signalled the end of prolonged civil conflict in Lebanon. Since then, Lebanon has experienced a resurgence in commercial and business activity, a regeneration of infrastructure and a renewal of interest by foreign investors.