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Official Visit to Romania - May 3, 2001
Meeting the Arab Diplomatic Corps
Lunch Banquet Thrown by the Head of Parliament
Reunion with the Romanian Premier
Farewell Ceremony
Evaluation of the Visit

Deputy Prime Minister Issam Fares accompanied H.E. President of the Republic Lahoud and the Lebanese delegation on an official two-day visit to Romania that was crowned with success and filled with scores of meetings. The delegation included the secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Zuheir Hamdan, Lebanon’s Ambassador to Romania Abdel Maguid Kaysar, the Director General of Lebanon’s General Directorate Jamil As Sayyed, and the Director General of Legal Affairs in the Lebanese Presidency Farouq Qabalan. The fruitful visit started with the holding, on the first day, of a reunion between President Lahoud and his Romanian homologue. The day was crowned with the conclusion of a health agreement by Fares and the Romanian Health Minister Ararat Meguertchiar.

The Romanian President gives a warm welcome to Deputy Prime Minister Issam Fares

Conclusion of a health agreement with Romanian Health Minister Ararat Meguertchiar
Meeting the Arab Diplomatic CorpsFares spent his second day in Bucharest by attending the meeting the Lebanese President held with the members of the Arab Diplomatic Corps headed by Morocco’s Ambassador Ahmad el-Wardi in presence of the Lebanese delegation members. During the meeting, the Lebanese side focused on the importance of Arab solidarity at this critical juncture the Arab countries are facing. It considered that only a just and global peace could settle security and stability in the region and explained the Lebanese role in discussing with the United Nations the recuperation of the territories occupied by Israel.

In the morning, Fares has attended the meeting President Lahoud held with Romania’s Prime Minister Adrian Nastazi during which talks concentrated on the mechanism to adopt for the development of the Lebanese-Romanian relations in all arenas, mainly in the economic field. Fares also took part in the meeting the President held with the head of the Romanian Senate.

Lunch Banquet Thrown by the Head of ParliamentFares later moved with President Lahoud and the delegation to the House of Parliament where the head of Parliament threw a luncheon banquet in their honor. The banquet was attended by a number of deputies, the Chairwoman of the Lebanese-Romanian Parliamentary Committee for Friendship, and scores of officials from the Romanian House of Parliament. The banquet provided the occasion to meet the Lebanese community with whom discussions broached the situation in Lebanon, pledging to strive for the recuperation of the Shebaa Farms.
Reunion with the Romanian PremierFor his part, the Deputy Prime held a meeting with the Romanian Prime Minister during which they resumed talks of mutual interest for both countries, mainly investment opportunities. Fares affirmed that Lebanon has enacted the necessary legal documents to facilitate the flow of investments, deeming that the door is wide open for the Romanian investors to contribute in this field.

Farewell CeremonyThe Romanian President accompanied his Lebanese counterpart, Fares, and the Lebanese delegation to the airport where a farewell ceremony took place in Bucharest. Among the parties who also bid farewell to the Lebanese guests were the members of the Arab Diplomatic Corps, the Romanian Foreign Minister, and a number of Romanian officials.

Evaluation of the Visit Wrapping up a two-day visit to Romania, Fares evaluated the outcome of his visit, saying, ‘We affirm Lebanon’s interest in developing economic cooperation with Romania and in encouraging the Lebanese businessmen to invest in Romania. We call upon promoting cooperation in tourism and agriculture, and assert in the political arena that Lebanon appeals for a just, global, and comprehensive peace. Europe should play a role in revitalizing the Middle East peace process.

‘The Romanian State is very much interested in the economic cooperation with Lebanon which they consider much bigger than its geographic volume. Romania is showing keenness on forging a closer cooperation with Lebanon on all levels. Romania also showed commitment to follow up our case in all the international tribunes and forums.

‘We have also raised the difficulties the Lebanese community is facing on different levels, and the Romanian officials have pledged to undertake quick procedures to this end’.