BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Sleiman arrives in Argentina as part of South America visit

President Michel Sleiman attends the South American-Arab countries' summit in Peru, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012. (Dalati and Nohra/HO)

BEIRUT: President Michel Sleiman arrived in Argentina Wednesday as part of his visit to Latin America following two-day talks in Peru where he said his national defense strategy would put Hezbollah’s weapons under the command of the Lebanese Army.

Sleiman, his wife Wafa and the accompanying delegation arrived on a two-day official visit in Argentine at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday Beirut time (11:30 p.m. Tuesday Argentine time).

Upon his arrival, Sleiman was met by Argentina’s deputy foreign minister, Lebanese Ambassador to Argentina Hisham Hamdan as well as senior members of Lebanon’s diplomatic corps in Buenos Aires.

From the airport, Sleiman headed to Park Tower Sheraton Hotel where he summoned the Lebanese delegation to put the final touches to his schedule.

In Peru, Sleiman told the Lebanese community abroad that under his national defense strategy Hezbollah’s arms would be used under the command of the Army to defend Lebanon against Israeli aggression.

The National Dialogue committee made up of Lebanon’s political leaders is reviewing a defense strategy proposed by Sleiman that aims to benefit from Hezbollah’s arms while ending a long debate between the resistance party and its rivals.

According to a statement from his office Wednesday, Sleiman met on the sidelines of the South American-Arab countries’ conference with Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa.

The two presidents discussed bilateral relations. Correa also briefed Sleiman on the conditions of Lebanese nationals living in Ecuador and ways to expand ties, especially in the areas of investment.

Sleiman also discussed with Tunisian President Monsef Marzouki “the situation in the region in light of the developments,” in addition to ways of enhancing bilateral ties between the two countries.

The statement said Marzouki expressed a desire to increase trade exchange between Lebanon and Tunisia in light of the speedy development of cultural relations between them.

Sleiman also discussed bilateral ties with Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, who extended him an invitation to visit Chile.

 

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