Prime Minister Saad Hariri received today at the Grand Serail the Turkish Ambassador to Lebanon Cagatay Erciyes.
After the meeting, Erciyes said: "I just had a meeting with Prime Minister Hariri. But before saying a few words about this meeting, as the Turkish Ambassador to Lebanon, I would like to offer my heartfelt condolences to Lebanon, to the Lebanese people, to the families and friends and beloved ones of the three Lebanese citizens who lost their lives in the heinous nightclub attack on New Year's eve. They are Rita Shami, Haykel Musalem and Elias Wardini. They are also our martyrs and our losses and we would like to offer our deepest condolences to the families.
I also would like to wish a speedy recovery to the six Lebanese citizens who were wounded during this heinous terrorist attack. Terrorism showed yet again its dark face, targeting civilians and, as you all know, 39 people were dead and 79 wounded. They were twenty different nationalities affected by this terrorist attack. The attack came, as also mentioned by the Turkish leaders, at a time Turkey is intensifying its efforts for a solution and a ceasefire in Syria.
It also came at a time we intensified our fight against Daesh especially in al-Bab area. So now, the Turkish police and the Turkish security authorities are doing everything to catch the perpetrator of this heinous crime and as soon as we get more information we will share it with the Lebanese authorities as well. Our pain is great, but Turkey is determined to fight terrorism, and I believe at this moment that we need deeds more than words. We need sincere genuine international cooperation in the fight against terrorism. These are the messages that I wanted to share with you.
With regards to my meeting with Prime Minister Hariri today, I handed over two letters addressed to his Excellency, sent by the Turkish Prime Minister, one is a congratulatory note on the formation of the Lebanese government and the second is related to this terrorist attack in Istanbul. We also had an exchange of views with regards to the current situation and also the situation in Syria and Iraq and regional issues. We discussed our bilateral relations and, as also mentioned in the letter of the Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildrim, Turkey is prepared to further strengthen its relations with Lebanon in every field and we stand by Lebanon and we will exert our efforts to support Lebanon."
Source: National News Agency