News Centre – TDO- Lebanon’s Ambassador to Turkey Gassan Muallim has hosted a reception at the Ankara HiltonSA Hotel to mark the 75th anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Lebanon.
The reception was attended by Minister of Interior Affairs Süleyman Soylu, Ministry of Foreign Affairs General Director of the South Asia Office Ambassador Fazlı Çorman, Ministry Of Foreign Affairs General Director of the America Office Ambassador İnan Özyıldız, Ministry Of Foreign Affairs General Director of the Africa Office Ambassador Ahmet Rıza Demirer, mission chiefs in Ankara, high ranking military officers, business people, academics and many other guests.
In his speech, Ambassador Gassan Muallim said: “For Turkey of 80 million, one million does not appear much. However, one million Lebanese people make up 20 per cent of the population of my country. We share the same history, culture, cuisine and habits with Turkey. Despite all that is going on in our region, we will continue to always back Palestine and its cause. Lebanon is always ready to cooperate. Good willing we will all be together in the future.”
In his speech, Minister of Interior Affairs Soylu said that Turkey and Lebanon had long been involved in sincere efforts to develop their bilateral ties. Soylu stated that many important cooperation efforts had been carried out to develop and diversify economic relations, such as the Protocol for Cooperation in the Field of Agriculture signed in 2010 and the mutual visa-waiver agreement signed the same year.
Adding that important steps had also been taken in the field of security, Soylu said “The Agreement on Cooperation for Combating Terrorism, Organised Crime, Drugs and Psychotics, signed between the Ministries of Interior Affairs of Turkey and Lebanon in 2008, was an important step for us. Our understanding on certain issues and our views regarding Lebanon’s security and area of sovereignty are fully in keeping. Turkey’s approach to protecting the independence and sovereignty of Lebanon is clear and sincere.”
Soylu emphasised that Turkey and Lebanon not only share the same geography, but also the same cultural watershed and said “In terms of bilateral ties, Turkey will continue, as always, to stand again all efforts targeting the stability of Lebanon.”