Lebanon wants stronger economic and trade cooperation with Cyprus

Lebanon wants stronger economic and trade cooperation with Cyprus


Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who met President Nicos Anastasiades late Saturday, said he would like to see stronger economic and trade cooperation, noting that Beirut values its relations with Nicosia, which he described as “our closest European neighbour.”

Hariri stressed his support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Cyprus, reiterating his support to UN resolutions and the good offices mission of the UN Secretary-General.

Speaking after the meeting, Hariri thanked the president for Cyprus’s support to the Lebanese Armed Forces and the security sector as a whole.

“My government firmly believes that strengthening state institutions is the only way towards building a strong state free of non-state actors,” he remarked, stressing “the need for stronger economic and trade cooperation.”

Lebanon today is providing a global public service on behalf of the international community by hosting around 1.5 million Syrian displaced persons. These displaced fled the Assad regime in search of safety.

“We have a moral and humanitarian obligation towards them. However, this is putting great strain on our economy and infrastructure and therefore we need our friends and the international community to support the stability of our economy and the government plan to start growth. Here I am confident that Cyprus as a long standing friend of Lebanon and member of the EU will play an important role,” he said.

Hariri thanked the president for Cyprus’s symbolic contribution to UNIFIL, noting that this was Cyprus’ only involvement in a UN peacekeeping mission. This, he added, reaffirmed Cyprus’ conviction that Lebanon’s stability was important to its own.

“I stressed to President Lebanon’s commitment to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus. We have repeatedly called for the full implementation of relevant Security Council resolutions and supported the United Nations good offices in this regard and encourage it to intensify its efforts to reach a peaceful solution which will guarantee the rights of all. The President expressed to me his commitment to resuming the talks to resolve this issue,” Hariri said.

Anastasiades said that Cyprus and Lebanon were much more than close neighbours in the Eastern Mediterranean, noting that the history and strong bonds between the two countries and their peoples follows the trail of the Phoenician civilisation, and has endured through time and adversity.

“Our relations have grown closer and stronger throughout our long history, precisely because they are anchored on a shared value base and a deep-rooted respect for one another,” he added.



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