Cypriot house speaker in Lebanon

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Cypriot House Speaker Yiannakis Omirou said Monday his visit to Lebanon aims at improving ties between the two countries.

“Cyprus and Lebanon are friendly states with an excellent relationships,” Omirou told reporters upon arrival at Rafik Hariri International Airport.

“Both face mutual problems and efforts should be made to improve the relationship,” he added.

Omirou, heading a Cypriot parliamentary delegation, met with President Michel Sleiman at Baabda Palace and is expected to hold talks with Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Najib Mikati.

Lebanon and Cyprus have been in talks to resolve the disputed maritime area that both Beirut and Tel Aviv have lalid claims to.

The 874-square-kilometer area is said to be rich in natural gas.

Lebanon also argues an Israeli-Cypriot bilateral agreement signed in 2010 and ratified in 2011 conflicts with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and is a violation of the country’s maritime border.

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