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Lebanon's President Michel Sleiman, greeted at Cotroceni Palace

Lebanon's President Michel Sleiman, who is paying an official visit to Romania on Feb. 27-29, was greeted by Romanian President Traian Basescu at Cotroceni Palace on Tuesday. During the greeting ceremony, the two states' anthems were played and then the Lebanese president walked past the guard of honour.

In the joint declaration delivered alongside the Lebanese President at the Cotroceni Palace, President Traian Basescu on Tuesday assured his Lebanese counterpart Michel Sleiman that Romania is ready to help reinforce Lebanon's stability and can donate military equipment and ammunition to strengthen the combat capacity of the Lebanese army.

'I assured Mr. President that Romania is ready to contribute to reinforcing the stability of Lebanon, starting from the premise that the stability of Lebanon is vital to regional security. During the talks, I also made it clear that Romania is ready to donate military equipment and ammunition to strengthen the combat capacity of the Lebanese army. And I also assured Mr. President that we are ready to rise the number of scholarships to Lebanese students, depending on the Lebanese government's education priorities. As part of bilateral relations, we are ready to offer training in our Military Academy for Lebanese officers as well as for public order staff or disaster responders,' said Traian Basescu . According to him, Lebanese businessmen have invested in Romania over two billion euros and Lebanon holds the top place among Arab investors.

Romania shares EU stance on Syria

' Together with Mr. President we did a review of the situation in the region, focusing on the situation in Syria, in Egypt, and we also analyzed the risks of unclear things, left as such by Iran in the world, on the development of its nuclear program. I addressed thanks to Mr. President for support the Lebanese Government provides to the Romanian authorities in the process of evacuation of our nationals from Syria, of course, of those who want to leave', President Basescu said in a joint declaration, issued at Cotroceni Palace, together with his Lebanese counterpart.

President Traian Basescu said that Romania shares the European Union's stance on Syria and underscored that the principle according to which a head of state who uses the guns against his own people can no longer remain in power is very timely.' I know the particular case of Syria. President Bashar al-Assad still enjoys enough popularity in Syria and the greatest part of the state's security structures is still loyal to him. But the principle according to which a chief of state who shoots at his own people can no longer hold power is very timely. That's the way life is,' said Basescu at the Cotroceni Palace, when asked whether Romania endorses the position of the EU, which calls on the Syrian President to relinquish power and imposes a series of economic sanctions.

Lebanon keeps disagreeing with isolating any Arab people within Arab League

Lebanese President Michel Sleiman in Bucharest on Tuesday underscored that Lebanon would maintain its position concerning Syria in the Arab League summit taking place in Baghdad at the end of March, pointing out that his country reiterates the decision of not agreeing with isolating any Arab people within the forum in question.

'Certainly, Lebanon will participate in the future summit and will adopt the position it considers fit with the interests of Lebanon, Syria and the Arab solidarity. The position Lebanon will take ranges within the area of the consensus and harmony through which Lebanon participates in the Arab forum. Lebanon maintains its decision of not agreeing with isolating any Arab people within this entity. Lebanon believes that the dialogue with the countries going through crisis is the most appropriate way to reach the desired solutions. Lebanon is a country, which activates and supports democracy and for tens of years it is a country applying the democratic model. As early as the launching of the first Arab initiative, I have asked the Syrian authorities to accept the dialogue and to listen to the Syrian people's requirements. Whatever opinion Lebanon may have, in any matter, it will remain fully committed in front of the decisions made by the Arab League', Sleiman said , when asked what position will Lebanon have if in Baghdad they do not make the decision of welcoming Syria back to the Arab League.

He also said that they must take into account that the Arab League does not represent only systems, but also peoples, mentioning that Lebanon would continue to play the role of sending the Lebanese people's message, which was a message of dialogue.

Traian Basescu and Lebanese counterpart want to encourage mutual investments in both countries

President Traian Basescu and his Lebanese counterpart Michel Sleiman on Tuesday, in Bucharest, discussed the consolidation of economic cooperation relations and the encouragement of mutual investments between the two countries.

'We have paid particular attention to the consolidation of economic, commercial, technical and cultural cooperation relations between Romania and Lebanon, to the encouragement of mutual investments between the two countries, especially in the field of energy, tourism, communications, industry as well as in banking, as we know that Lebanon is preparing now to do oil drilling work, oil and gas drilling in the sea region of the country,' the President of the Republic of Lebanon, who is on an official visit to Romania, said on Tuesday, in the Cotroceni Palace.

Michel Sleiman said that, on Tuesday, he and his Romanian counterpart attending, a memorandum between the Romanian and Lebanese Ministries of Foreign Affairs was signed and added that the two countries were preparing to conclude some bilateral agreements in education, science, technology, culture, means of communication, youth and sports.

'I have thanked President Basescu for the warm reception he gave me and the delegation accompanying me. I have agreed with him on the necessity to increase the number of bilateral visits at the level of responsibility factor in the public and private sector as this way we should be able to improve the prospects of cooperation in various fields between the two friendly countries,' also said the Lebanese President.

Lebanese President thanks Basescu for his position in support of Lebanon's stability, sovereignty and independence

President of the Republic of Lebanon Michel Sleiman thanked Romanian Head of State Traian Basescu on Tuesday for Romania's position in support of Lebanon's stability. The two men also agreed on the necessity to coordinate efforts in facing the danger of terrorism.

'We have surveyed the current questions regionally and internationally, in the light of the historical changes undergone by the Arab world at present and against the background of the tensions and challenges the world faces, among which there are also the ones originating in the world financial crisis. I have thanked President Basescu for his position in support of Lebanon, of Lebanon's stability, sovereignty and independence, and we have also discussed the possibility to take part in the troops that should fulfil Resolution 1701 of the Security Council meant to continue efforts in order to convince Israel to fulfil this resolution entirely. We have shown the importance of what is called preventive diplomacy as an instrument meant to avoid conflicts and we have talked about the necessity to find a peaceful solution to problems, to all conflicts in case they appear,' said Sleiman in a joint statement he made at the Cotroceni Palace together with Traian Basescu.

He made it clear that he had also discussed with Traian Basescu the 'invigoration' of the Arab-Israeli peace process in order to find a 'just and complete' solution to all aspects of the Arab-Israeli conflict on a stable basis, whose essence should be legislation, international law and the Arab peace initiative.

'On this occasion too I stated Lebanon's refusal to any form of Palestinian refugees settling in its territory. I have also agreed with President Basescu on the necessity to coordinate efforts in facing the danger of terrorism, which is still a threat in many parts of the world. We have also talked, we have discussed the necessity to find the best means for the processes switching from dictatorship to democracy, in the countries where they take place, to be successful, considering the experience Romania has acquired in this respect. Starting from these points of view, during the talks we have also emphasized the necessity to pass to systems that should express the people's will to respect human dignity, fundamental freedoms of citizens and human rights,' also said the Lebanese Head of State.

The two Presidents also discussed the necessity to come to a 'political and balanced' solution to the Syrian crisis as soon as possible, laying emphasis on the fact that respecting democracy is the best way to hand power over, for stability, economic and social growth.

Michel Sleiman pays an official visit to Romania from Monday till Wednesday. On Tuesday Romanian Head of State Traian Basescu is to receive him at the Cotroceni Palace.

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