Lebanon's Berri calls for economic strycture among Muslim countries for expansion into European markets
Speaking at a luncheon hosted by the Turkish-Lebanese Business Council of the Foreign Economic Relations Board, Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri yesterday said that a structure made up of such majority-Muslim countries such as Iran, Indonesia, Egypt and Syria could be shaped and led by Turkey, and that it could jointly enter Western markets. Berri thanked Turkey for its support to Lebanon and on the Palestinian issue. Berri said that Turkey and Lebanon both want economic integration, adding that Lebanon wants Turkey to sell medicines in his country to break the medical monopoly there. Saying that Lebanon places importance on the food, agriculture and energy sectors, Berri said that lifting visa procedures between the two countries has boosted relations and that a free trade agreement would do even more. Stating that Turkish-Lebanese economic ties could be better, he added, "There is a great potential and plenty of room for cooperation between our countries in such areas as energy, healthcare and tourism." He also pledged that they would step up efforts to raise the bilateral trade volume to $3 billion as soon as possible. Last year the volume hit $900 million.