BEIRUT: President Michel Sleiman said Tuesday that Algeria’s expertise in offshore oil exploration could benefit Lebanon as he kicked off a historic visit to West Africa in a bid to bolster business ties between Lebanon and a number of African states.
During his short stop in Algiers before heading south to Senegal, Sleiman said Lebanon sought to learn from Algeria’s experience in managing natural resources.
“Lebanon wants to benefit from Algeria’s experience in managing its oil,” said Sleiman following his meeting with Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika at Algiers’ Houari Boumediene Airport.
In a private meeting, Sleiman and Bouteflika discussed bilateral relations and the unrest in Syria.
The president and first lady Wafa Sleiman departed from Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International Airport in a private jet at 9:05 a.m., officials from the airport told The Daily Star.
Sleiman’s weeklong visit to Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana and Ivory Coast is a first for a Lebanese president.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on March 13, 2013, on page 3.