Bassil holds talks with Bulgarian President, Parliament Speaker, Foreign Minister

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gebran Bassil, held talks Friday in Sofia with Bulgarian President Rumen Radev, Speaker of the Bulgarian National Assembly Tsveta Karayancheva, and his counterpart Ekaterina Spasova Gecheva-Zakharieva.

The meetings focused on the political and economic dossiers between Europe, Lebanon and the Middle East, in addition to the bilateral political, economic and cultural ties between Bulgaria and Lebanon.

The Syrian refugee issue also topped Bassil's talks with the Bulgarian senior officials. Accordingly, the Minister devoted a meeting with his Bulgarian counterpart, who expressed support for the Lebanese position calling for the safe and decent repatriation of refugees.

On the bilateral trade exchange between Lebanon and Bulgaria, it had been agreed to form a joint committee to develop ties in the fields of commerce, agriculture, industry and technology.

Moreover, Bassil and the Bulgarian officials agreed to establish a permanent and direct airline between Beirut and Sofia.

Asked about the fate of Shebaa and Kfarshouba following the U.S. recognition of Golan Heights as Israeli territory, Bassil said: "Shebaa and Kfarshouba are Lebanese lands. Our people proved ability to clinch their rights and occupation shall have no room on our soil."

In response to a question about visiting Syria, he indicated that the trip would take place on the suitable time and according to the interests of Lebanon.

For his part, Bulgaria President described Lebanon's role in the Middle East as a factor of stability, and extolled the "constructive diplomacy" Lebanon is undertaking.

Furthermore, Radev strongly backed Bassil's stance on the refugee issue, criticizing Europe's remissness in that respect.

For her part, the National Assembly's Speaker broached cooperation at the parliamentary level, expressing her wish to visit Lebanon and activate the bilateral parliamentary friendship committee.

It is to note that Bassil is scheduled to hold talks with Bulgaria's commerce chambers, in addition to a meeting with the Lebanese Diaspora.

Source: National News Agency