Lebanon committed to UNSCR 1701: Sleiman

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Ivory Coast's president Alassane Ouattara (r) and Lebanon counterpart Michel Sleiman (L) greet supporters during president Sleiman's welcoming ceremony at Abidjan airport on March 14,2013. President Sleiman is on a three day official visit to Ivory Coast.

BEIRUT: President Michel Sleiman said Thursday night his country remains committed to the implementation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701.

Lebanon will continue, with the support of the international community, to work on securing the implementation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701 in a bid regain all of [Lebanon's] sovereignty on its land,” Sleiman said during a dinner held in his honor in Ivory Coast.

The president, who has embarked on a historical visit to Africa, said Lebanon and Ivory Coast would work together at the regional and international levels “to confront the dangers of extremism and lack of forgiveness and terrorism.”

He added that a fair and comprehensive peace in the Middle East was a prerequisite to fortifying democracy and moderation in the region.

During the ceremony in Ivoire Hotel, Sleiman also noted that Lebanon wanted to benefit from its oil and natural gas resources that would greatly improve the national economy.

“We have recently launched operations that will allow us to move to the next stage of bidding and explorations for the natural oil and gas that was discovered in our maritime [territory] to serve our national economy and the coming generations,” he said.

For his part, Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara spoke about “historical and distinguished ties” between the two countries and noted the role played by the Lebanese expatriate community.”

“[Lebanese expats have] strongly contributed to the development of the Ivorian economy and Lebanese represent a primary element in the country's resources, particularly in the investment sector,” he said.

The Daily Star - Lebanon