BEIRUT: Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil left Beirut Tuesday for Brazil to discuss relations between the two countries, meet Lebanese expats and watch the World Cup final games.
“This is my first formal visit to Brazil as a Foreign Minister,” Bassil told reporters in Beirut airport before boarding his plane. “It aims at improving the relations between Lebanese and Brazil, especially given the Brazilian descendants of Lebanese origin are more [in number] than Lebanon’s population.”
Asked whether he would watch the Wold Cup 2014 matches, Bassil replied: “Of course, how could anyone be in Brazil at such timing and miss it?
“We will have a chance to mix politics with expatriate matters and bring them onto the pitch.”
Concerning the Lebanese community in Brazil, Bassil said a series of activities would be launched in accordance with the recent Expatriate Energy Conference in Lebanon.
Bassil also expressed his dissatisfaction with the current level of relations between the two countries, saying that they did not meet his aspirations.
“This is why we will sign many agreements during this visit, and many others will be prepared for in the future,” he said.
Separately, he condemned the recent Israeli attacks on Gaza, and the Arab countries’ lack of comment on the issue.
“The Arab silence has increased after the Arab spring ... [and] Israel is [exploiting] this silence to wage a huge attack.”
Bassil also confirmed that Saudi intelligence had asked to participate in the investigation of the Saudi terrorists' case in Lebanon.
“This is a normal thing, especially that the Saudi Kingdom has taken serious steps to fight terrorism ... which is something we encourage,” he said.