Hariri Meets Turkish Counterpart in Ankara

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Prime Minister Saad Hariri met with his Turkish counterpart Benali Yildirim in Turkey where talks focused on regional and bilateral issues and ways to activate economic and trade ties between the two countries, Hariri's media office said in a statement on Wednesday.

The two men held a joint press conference afterward where Hariri said: “Lebanon wants a guaranteed safe return of Syrian refuges to their country.” The PM also extended gratitude to the Turkish state over the extradition of suspect involved in the January bombing in the city of Sidon.

For his part, Yildirim said: “The implementation of Lebanon's neutral policy is very important,” pointing out that talks with Hariri touched on the “Turkish-Lebanese relations and issues of interest to both countries.”

“Our goal is to develop Lebanon's infrastructure and contribute to the stability of the country,” he added.

Hariri had arrived earlier at the headquarters of the Turkish government where he was received by Yildirim.

The meeting was attended by Lebanese Ambassador to Turkey Ghassan al-Mouallem and the Turkish Ambassador to Lebanon Cagatay Erciyes, added the statement.

Hariri traveled Tuesday evening to Ankara on an official visit during which he will also meet with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Hariri is accompanied by Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq, his advisers Nader Hariri and Bassem al-Sabaa, and High Relief Commission chief Maj. Gen. Mohammed Kheir.

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