Greek FM Calls for Democracy in Middle East
Greek foreign minister George Papandreou called Tuesday for greater democracy and human rights in the Middle East following talks with Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, said AFP.
"The European Union is working for democracy and human rights and we consider that this ideal is applicable in the Middle East", Papandreou told journalists.
He said his talks with Hariri had covered cooperation between Beirut and Athens in the tourism sector, and the signature of an association accord between Lebanon and the EU.
Upon his arrival, the minister was quoted as telling reporters at Beirut Airport that the Middle East peace efforts must be pursued towards a final conclusion “based on the Madrid and Oslo process.” The Daily Star newspaper quoted him as saying that “it is important that the peace process continues.”
Papandreou, who arrived from Jordan, said that his three-day visit to Beirut was aimed at discussing the political situation in the region and the peace process with Lebanese officials, said the paper.
Lebanon's imports from Greece totaled 138 million dollars last year, compared with only six million the other way, said the paper.
Meanwhile, Hariri left Beirut Tuesday for Paris on a three-day official visit in response to an invitation from his French counterpart Lionel Jospin, reported the Saudi Press agency (SPA).
During his visit, he will meet French President Jacques Chirac, a number of senior French officials and French businessmen, said the agency.
Hariri’s visit aims at boosting ties with France in all fields– Albawaba.com
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