July 7, 2010
Lebanon is to witness a flurry of diplomatic visits in the upcoming period, the Central News Agency (CNA) reported on Tuesday.
The CNA on Tuesday quoted ministerial sources saying a number of top Arab and regional officials have expressed to Lebanon their desire to schedule visits to Beirut.
Among the visits, sources said Syrian President Bashar Assad would visit Lebanon this month but that no final date has been scheduled yet.
The CNA said Assadís visit was aimed at strengthening Lebanese-Syrian bilateral ties.
Last month, President Michel Sleiman discussed with his Syrian counterpart in Damascus the demarcation of the Lebanese-Syrian border.
Assadís visit will be the second of a Syrian head of state to the Lebanese capital since Lebanonís independence in 1943 and his second since March 2002.
Assadís first visit to Baabda came almost a year and a half after he took over Syriaís presidency following the death of his father, President Hafez Assad.
Syria and Lebanon only established formal diplomatic relations in October 2008, more than 60 years after they both were granted independence from a French mandate by the League of Nations.
Syrian troops entered Lebanon during its 1975-90 Civil War and pulled out in 2005 after the assassination of former Lebanese Premier Rafik Hariri.
Syria was widely blamed for that still-unsolved killing, but Damascus has vehemently denied any involvement.
Also, Iranian President Ahmadinejad is expected to meet an invitation by Sleiman in August to discuss the latest regional developments.
Similarly, Turkish Premier Recep Tayyep Erdogan is to land in Beirut in August as part of a regional tour to discuss progress in the Mideast peace process.
Also, Qatari Prince Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Tani, UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed and Bahrain King Hamad bin Issa are also to visit Beirut.