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Aoun's visit marks start of new era in Qatar-Lebanon ties, says envoy


QNA
BEIRUT/Doha
Lebanon President General Michel Aoun will pay an official two-day visit to Qatar beginning on Wednesday. The Emir HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani and the Lebanese president will discus bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest.
Underscoring the importance of Aoun's visit, Qatari ambassador to Lebanon HE Ali bin Hamad al Marri said Aoun had accepted the invitation extended by the Emir following Aoun's taking over as president of Lebanon.
Marri said the timing of the invitation was crucial as the spirit of reconciliation was now spreading among the Lebanese communities, adding that the visit would further boost the ties between Qatar and Lebanon. He said Qatar continuously works on supporting Lebanon's stability and peace.
He said the meeting between the two countries' leaders is an opportunity to further enhance relations between Qatar and Lebanon in all fields, especially political and economic areas.
Lebanon's Ambassador to Qatar HE Hassan Qassim Najem said. Aoun's visit to Qatar is exceptionally important since his election came after a long period of political vacuum, Visits by different Lebanese presidents to Qatar in the past usually led to an elevation in bilateral ties, he said.
The Lebanese president would always accept an invitation from the Emir, who was the first to congratulate him on his election as the new president of Lebanon and such a gesture reflected the strength of bilateral ties, the ambassador said.
The ambassador expressed hope that the latest visit will be another shining example of the strong relations with Qatar, stressing that this particular relationship was never affected by the grave events that hit the Arab world in recent years.
Likewise they would like to use their energy in contributing to the renaissance of a modern Qatar, the ambassador said.
The envoy lauded Qatari people and government's stand during the war of 2006 in Lebanon.
He said Qatar had welcomed all Lebanese running away from the war. He added the vision of the Father Emir HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani pledging to rebuild the southern Lebanese cities destroyed in the war was engraved in the memory of all Lebanese.
Another unforgettable moment was when Qatar hosted Lebanese leaders in 2008 and helped them reach the Doha agreement which put an end to the political crisis and domestic tensions in Lebanon, the envoy said.
Qatar also played a positive role in releasing the kidnapped Lebanese soldiers.
These historic moments, the ambassador said, make him hopeful of the prospect of a positive Qatari role in supporting Lebanon and strengthening the ties between the two peoples.
Najem added the Lebanese president's visit will help lay the foundation for the coming period in terms of revitalising and developing bilateral ties in a way that suits the ambition of the people.
He said the revitalisation of Lebanese politics will guarantee a suitable environment for stronger ties not just with Qatar, but with the GCC as a whole. He hoped that Lebanon can return as a top tourist destination for the people of Qatar and the GCC after the visit.

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