“We believe that Lebanon is the country that’s showing everyone in Europe how to solve the problems of the Middle East” Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias stated during his visit to Lebanon on Wednesday. The Greek Prime Minister also congratulated the new Donald Trump on his election to US President.
On his part Lebanon’s Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil highlighted that Lebanon is a bridge between the Arab World and Europe.
Mr. Kotzias has travelled to Lebanon together with his Bulgarian counterpart, Daniel Mitov, and Cypriot counterpart, Ioannis Kasoulides. This joint visit was decided in September, at the Rhodes Conference on Security and Stability, which brought together Foreign Ministers from European and Arab countries.
The Greek Foreign Minister stated that “In Rhodes last September we created a positive agenda for relations between Cyprus, Lebanon and Greece and we continue to do so. We believe that Lebanon is the country that’s showing everyone in Europe how to solve the problems of the Middle East. It is a country where different religions coexist and cooperate. Diversity gives Lebanon, a country which exercises tolerance and respect, a positive push. We are proud of our collaboration with the Government of Lebanon and will continue throughout the day to exchange views and seek new ways of working together”.
In answer to a journalist’s question about the US elections Kotzias congratulated the newly elect President Donald Trump and added that “the Greek Government has systematic relations with both the Democratic and the Republican party. Some time before the US elections as well as at the end of September, we discussed issues concerning the region, with both the previous government as well as Mr. Trump’s close circle”.
He made clear that the Greek government has always had good relations, like any Greek government with the American state and the American people and added that “We continue to have stable, good and constructive relationships with the American political system and the American people”.
He also mentioned President Obama’s upcoming visit and said that his “meeting with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will be of a positive and creative nature”.
On his part Lebanon’s FM Gebran Bassil stated that ”The three countries share the same traits […] and culture and can fortify cooperation on communication and service levels as we have similar approaches and common ideas, that are only missing implementation”
Bassil added that it is ”With this spirit of cooperation we are hoping to reach other European countries to find a peaceful solution to the crisis”.
Furthermore he touched on the topic of investment and expressed Lebanon’s concern with “finding stable and promising investment climates” but emphasised the hope “that with the advent of the new tenure, the topic of oil would top priorities so that Lebanon should embark on a real journey in that respect”. He explained that the delays in exploring oil and gas resources were “not linked to border countries,friends or enemies” and were in fact attributed to local reasons.
Finally Bassil highlighted the fact that Lebanon’s location was crucial and stated that “from our location in the Arab world, we can be a bridge to Europe”. “Lebanon plays an important role as a bridge between the east and west.”/IBNA