Turkish Foreign Minister in Beirut for Visit


Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu arrived in Lebanon Saturday morning for talks with Lebanese officials, National News Agency (NNA) reported.

Davutoglu , who arrived at the Rafik Hariri International Airport on board a private jet from Turkey , headed for the presidential palace for talks with President Michel Suleiman.

The Turkish foreign minister later met with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Najib Mikati who hosted a lunch banquet in his honor at the prime minister’s headquarters in the Grand Serail.

Davutoglu according to As Safir newspaper told Mikati that his country rejects Lebanon’s maritime treaty signed with Cyprus.

As Safir added that the Turkish FM stressed on the necessity of amending the treaty with Cyprus and drafting a new one with Turkey on the maritime border and economic zone.

Davutoglu later visited Bkirki for talks with Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai. Their talks reportedly focused on the situation in Syria , but Davutoglu told reporters that their talks focused on spiritual issues.

Rai is reportedly concerned about the Christians in Syria if the Assad regime collapses , while Turkey has been calling on Syrian president Bashar al -Assad to step down.

According to media reports the top Turkish diplomat is also scheduled to meet during his stay in Beirut with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon who is on a three-day official visit here.

Davutoglu and Ban are expected to take part in a conference on democratic transition in the Arab world organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) Sunday.



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