BEIRUT: Lebanon’s Culture Minister Mohamed Daoud toured the city of Aley accompanied by several Arab ambassadors.
The visit, aimed at promoting tourism in the region, included UAE Ambassador Hamad Saeed Al-Shamsi, Algeria’s Ambassador Ahmed Bouziane, Mohammed Karin (Morocco), Karim Boudali (Tunisia), Ambassador Nazih Al-Najari (Egypt), Badr bin Mohammad Al-Mantheri (Oman) and the charge d’affaires of the Saudi Embassy, Majed Abu Al-Ula.
Aley witnessed a security incident two weeks ago between protesters rejecting the visit of the head of the Free Patriotic Movement, Gebran Bassil, and the bodyguards of Minister Saleh Al-Gharib. The events led to the deaths of two of Al-Gharib’s bodyguards and the injury of two others.
Daoud thanked the ambassadors for their presence: “We came here with one message to say that despite recent painful events, Lebanon will always remain a country of tourism. We rely heavily on our tourism season. These events will never affect Lebanon’s authenticity, generosity, hospitality and tourism. Lebanon is always proud of its Arab roots and is very happy about the ambassadors’ presence here, which reflects their countries’ embrace of Lebanon.”
Al-Shamsi said: “Lebanon is very well thanks to its people and its Arab brothers. Lebanon is doing better than many other countries surrounding us. Our support will never stop. Lebanon has an Arab identity and we remain keen to support Lebanon’s legitimacy.”
“Lebanon is the country of Arabism, culture and tourism.” Majed Abu Al-Ula
Charge d’affaires of the Saudi Embassy
Karin said: “Lebanon is a country of coexistence, happiness and life and it will remain this way. Our presence reflects our confidence in Lebanon and its message of openness and tolerance. By visiting Lebanon, Arab citizens are contributing to its legacy as an example of coexistence. We have a group of Moroccan tourists here as well as participants in scientific, cultural and intellectual forums.”
Al-Najari urged Egyptians to “intensify their visits to Lebanon because it is stable despite some limited incidents.”
Boudali said: “Lebanon is the face of civilization, culture and openness. Our visit is an open invitation to all Arab tourists to come to Lebanon.”
Al-Mantheri said: “Lebanon is secure and stable,” and called on Arab citizens to visit.
Al-Ula added that “Lebanon is the country of Arabism, culture and tourism. The Kingdom lifted the warning sent to prevent the arrival of Saudis to Lebanon. We clearly see that it is now secure and stable.”