BEIRUT (Aztag)–A delegation representing the ARF Central Committee (CC) of Lebanon met yesterday with Lebanon’s Minister of Foreign and Emigrant Affairs–Jean Obeid–at the Foreign Ministry in Boutros Palace.
The ARF delegation consisted of CC representative Hovig Mkhitarian and members Hagop Pakradouni and Barouyr Der Ghougassian.
The discussions between Obeid and the ARF focused on Lebanon-Turkey relations–particularly in light of Turkish Foreign Minister Abdulla Gul’s visit to Lebanon over the previous weekend and agreemen’s that were signed between the two sides.
Foreign Minister Obeid provided various clarifications regarding Gul’s visit and Lebanese-Turkish relations. The ARF delegation presented its views on those topics and underscored that relations must be based on mutual respect–in an attempt to rectify the mistakes that have accumulated throughout the history of the two countries and which–to this day–influence the development of events in the region.
The ARF delegation cast doubt on Turkish officials’ recent statemen’s regarding the establishment of close ties with the Arab people. The ARF representatives stressed the importance of keeping a close eye on Ankara’s intent to gain political influence in the region while maintaining its strategic cooperation with Israel.
Gul’s visit to Lebanon was the first in 21 years for a Turkish foreign minister. The Lebanese Prime Minister and Foreign Minister visited Turkey in April and May–respectively.