A Lebanese-Greek-Cypriot summit devoted to consolidate decisions reached in Beirut on Wednesday during a meeting between the three countries’ foreign ministers is expected in Cyprus next June.
Diplomats attending a meeting held between Lebanon’s Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil and his Greek and Cypriot counterparts, Nikos Christodoulides and Georgios Katrougalos, told Asharq Al-Awsat that talks held at the ministry’s offices in Beirut tackled the influx of Syrians to Lebanon.
They said Bassil has stressed Lebanon’s inability to further handle the demographic, financial, health and educational impacts of the refugee presence in the country.
The Greek and Cypriot visitors expressed their understanding to the statement made by Bassil, who asked that the two European countries support Lebanon in the refugee crisis.
"A safe and dignified return of the displaced has become imperative. We are at the threshold of a new stage and everyone has to deal with the status quo," Bassil told reporters after sitting down with his two counterparts.
He also said a trilateral summit is expected in Cyprus to sign agreements between Lebanon, Cyprus and Greece in the fields of tourism, trade, investment and cultural cooperation.
For his part, the Cypriot Foreign Minister said the meeting in Beirut dealt with the region's problems, stressing the full cooperation of his country in meeting Lebanon's needs.
Christodoulides said he asked Bassil to establish a general secretariat in Cyprus tasked with studying all fields of cooperation between the three countries.
“Cyprus is ready to welcome a trilateral meeting in June to allow for cooperation between our leaders,” he said.
As for the Greek FM, he said his country’s first objective is to strengthen the means of communication and dialogue in the Mediterranean region.
Commenting on the latest US decision to recognize Israel's territorial claim to the occupied Syrian Golan Heights, Bassil expressed “Lebanon's rejection to the US move.”