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Bassil discusses with Cypriot counterpart tripartite tourism agreement with Greece

Mar 29

 Bassil discusses with Cypriot counterpart tripartite tourism agreement with Greece

Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Minister, Gebran Bassil, welcomed on Wednesday Cypriot Foreign Minister, Nicos Christodoulides.

'We have discussed a tripartite tourism agreement between Lebanon, Cyprus and Greece, which we will work on in the near future to secure joint tourist visits between our countries,' Bassil said after the meeting.

The Minister added that he had asked for Cyprus's assistance, in its capacity as a European country, handling the refugee crisis.

'Lebanon can no longer bear this situation. 16 out of 18 governorates in Syria are moving towards a state of calm. In the wake of the most recent events in Ghouta, there are some places where calm and stability prevail, so Syrians can go back to these safe regions. Lebanon cannot possibly help the international community, including the European Union, by having refugees stay in Lebanon. Those who would like to help Syrians, let them do this on Syrian soil because keeping them in Lebanon is a conspiracy,' Bassil said.

On the other hand, the Minister added that the easiest way for those who wanted to help Lebanon was to encourage Lebanese exports and enable them to enter European markets.

'This way, Lebanon will receive help promoting its products instead of drowning its economy under the heavy weight of the Syrian refugee crisis.

For his part, Minister Cristolodides thanked Minister Bassil for this meeting.

'We have discussed very important issues of common concern between the two countries,' he said.

'I have received my duties as head of the Foreign Ministry since less than a month. It is my duty to visit Lebanon and to convey my country's strong support for it. We, by the virtue of being neighbors, face common problems and challenges, and we must face the difficult situation we are witnessing through cooperation,' the Cypriot Minister said.

He added that his country had participated in Rome 2 conference and decided to support Lebanon through military equipment to the Lebanese Army worth 15 million euros.

'The Government of Cyprus will participate in Paris Conference as a sign of support to the Lebanese government,' he added.

On the other hand, Minister Bassil discussed with US Ambassador to Lebanon, Elizabeth Richard, the relations between Lebanon and the United States. Talks between the pair also touched on the changes that the US administration has undergone and its implications concerning the region's affairs.