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Sleiman: Arabs should achieve democracy without foreign intervention

President Michel Sleiman, left, meets with Argentinean President Cristina Fern?ndez de Kirchner upon his arrival to Argentina on Wednesday, Oct.4, 2012. (The Daily Star/DalatiNohra)

BEIRUT: Arab nations should achieve democracy without any foreign military intervention, President Michel Sleiman said, urging a swift political solution to the crisis in Syria.

Following his meeting with Argentinean President Cristina Fern?ndez de Kirchner, Sleiman told reporters that it was important to allow Arab nations to achieve their aims, including reform, freedom and democracy, away from violence or any foreign military intervention.

He added that it was also necessary to swiftly find a political solution for the crisis in Syria on the basis of dialogue and agreement in the framework of the international community’s efforts and the mission of U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi.

Sleiman, who is on a two-day official visit to Argentina, also spoke about a swift search for a conclusive peace process in all conflicts faced by the region, noting the right of Palestinians to return to their homeland.

“He noted the importance for Arab countries and Lebanon to preserve the right of return of Palestinian refugees and reject their nationalization in Arab countries,” his press office said.

The two presidents also agreed on the need to implement reforms in the United Nations as well as reforms for the global financial system in order to face international crises.

Kirchner welcomed Sleiman to her country, calling Lebanon the "jewel of the Middle East," and eschewing the epithet of the "Paris of the Middle East," describing it as a colonial description.

She focused on the importance of resolving the Palestinian issue, saying she considered it as the axis of peace not only for the Middle East but to the entire world by guaranteeing a Palestinian state that enjoys sovereignty.

She praised Lebanon's constant support for her country in the conflict between Argentina and Britain with regards to the Malvinas Islands.

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

After his meeting with the president, Sleiman also met with the head of the Argentinean Institute for international relations where the two discussed ongoing cooperation between the countries.

He met with Luis Beder Herrera, Governor of La Rioja, and Luc?a Corpacci, governor of Catamarca Province, who are both of Lebanese origins.

 

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