Hariri in Damascus calls for stronger relations
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri called for stronger Lebanese-Syrian relations closer at the start of his visit to Damascus,. Hariri arrived in Syria on Sunday for a two-day visit.
Hariri headed an extended ministerial delegation on a visit aimed at discussing the relationship between the two countries after the cold ties that prevailed since the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri in 2005. After his arrival, Hariri met his Syrian Prime Minister counterpart Naji al-Otri. Later he was to meet with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Otri said after the meeting with his Hariri, said that "there is a need to discuss prospects for cooperation in the fields of defense and security and the need to activate the work of the Joint Commission between the two countries."
The delegation, headed by Hariri, includes 13 ministers, including Finance Minister Ria Hassan and Interior Minister Ziad Baroud, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hassan Shami, Justice Minister Ibrahim Najjar and Culture Minister Salim Wardu.
According to the information published ahead of the visit, it is aimed at signing 18 agreements and memoranda between the two countries in the areas of environment, health, drug control and agriculture.