Lebanese prime minister Najib Mikati
Lebanese prime minister Najib Mikati has said it is time to boost Lebanon\'s economy through encouraging investment and long-term plans. \"It is time to give attention to economy and encourage investment in
Lebanon and when we handle any issue in Lebanon, we must approach it with a view towards development and economic prosperity,\" he said.
Tunisian prime minister Hamadi Jebali also hailed ties between the nations, saying: \"The Tunisian revolution was inspired by Lebanon\'s freedom, pluralism, openness and tolerance.\"
Mikati met Jebali on Thursday afternoon and held talks with him on bilateral relations between the two countries and ways to stimulate them.
The Tunisian leader was received by Mikati in the inner courtyard of the al-Saraya Palace. A traditional ceremony was held and security forces played the Tunisian and Lebanese national anthems.
The Tunisian PM greeted the Lebanese delegation which included deputy prime minister Samir Mokbel, minister of economy and trade Nicola Nahas, interior minister Marwan Charbel, information minister Walid Aldaau, the ambassador of Lebanon in Tunisia Farid Abboud , and secretary-general of the ministers council Suhail Pugey.
Mikati also greeted the Tunisian delegation which included the minister of investment, Riyadh Biltayeb and Tunisia\'s ambassador to Lebanon Mohammed Fawzi.
The two PMs held a meeting attended by Lebanese and Tunisian delegations, and later a press conference. Mikati spoke at the beginning saying: \"I welcome the prime minister of the Tunisian Republic, Hamadi Jebali, in Lebanon and his visit is a further confirmation on the excellent relationship between the two countries.\"
He added: \"I hope this visit to Lebanon will be a starting point to invest in Tunisia.\"
In response to a question about the cabinet session on Wednesday Mikati responded: \"Today we are talking about relations between Lebanon and Tunisia, and I want to add that during the economic and business forum this morning, we were talking about the economic spring. In my opinion it is time to give more attention to economy and investment. \"
In other developments, Mikati met with the director-general of UNRWA, Salvatore Lombardo, on Thursday in a farewell visit on the occasion of the end of his stint in Lebanon.
Mikati also received the deputy director-general of the International Monetary Fund, Nemat Shafik, who said after the meeting: \"The meeting with the PM was excellent. We discussed his long-term plans for the future of Lebanon and the strategy used by him to address the problems of religion and infrastructure.\"