Caretaker Minister of Information, Manal Abdel Samad, received Thursday at her ministry office French Ambassador to Lebanon Anne Grillo, on top of a delegation of the French Embassy and France Media Monde, including Director of the French Institute Marie Buscail, Director of Radio France International Cecile Meggie, Director of Distribution and Development in the Arab World and Turkey Ahmed El-Cheikh, Director of Monte Carlo and Radio Souad el-Tayyeb.
The meeting was attended by Director General of the Ministry of Information Hassan Falha, among others.
Conferees discussed cooperation prospects and projects, before effectuating a tour in the ministry’s departments.
A joint press conference followed the tour, in which Abdel Samad and Grillo launched two projects on the modernization of the audio-visual archives of Tele Liban, Radio Lebanon, NNA, and the Research and Studies Directorate.
In her intervention, Abdel Samad extolled this “promising project” which aims to preserve the beautiful memories of Lebanon.
“We are working on spreading positivity away from negative values,” she said, welcoming the visiting delegation and thanking their generous efforts.
“The purpose of this project is to preserve our cultural heritage that reflects the identity of our society,” she explained.
She continued to indicate that work on the 18-month project had begun four months before the government’s resignation in the wake of the Beirut port blast, adding that the French Foreign Ministry approved it in March 2020.
“We are proud of our partnership with France Media Monde,” said Abdel Samad.
“We pinned great hopes on this partnership as it ensures continuous spread of the Lebanese-Francophone culture via Lebanon Radio,” she added.
Moreover, she heaped praise on the solid relations between Lebanon and France.
“Allow me to thank France and its diplomatic mission in Lebanon, for the assistance it provides for media and culture,” she underlined.
For her part, Ambassador Grillo maintained that France invests in cooperation for the sake of “free, independent, responsible, and valuable press.”
Addressing Abdel Samad, she said: “I guarantee that you can count on France as well as on the professionalism and engagement of all these media operators.”
“We are present here to confirm our will and readiness to follow up on this strategic cooperation for a unified, pluralist, stable, and sovereign Lebanon,” she stressed.
In conclusion, Grillo urged for swift action to curb Lebanon’s collapse, and for a response to France’s call to form a government as “the fate of Lebanon and the Lebanese is at stake.”