Monday, September 22, 2008

Lebanese president arrives in New York, to meet world leaders

Lebanese President Michel Suleiman arrived in New York Sunday afternoon to attend the 63rd session of the UN General Assembly and meet U.S. President George W. Bush and other world leaders, local Naharnet website reported Monday.

Lebanese delegation sources said that the president is scheduled to meet Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Qatari Emir Shiekh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, Turkish President Abdullah Gul, Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The president is accompanied by his wife and a delegation described by the press as "small" compared with previous Lebanese delegations who accompanied Lebanese leaders in their trips abroad.

Suleiman and the first lady will attend Monday night a welcome ceremony hosted by U.S. President George W. Bush at Waldorf Astoria hotel. They will also meet UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon ahead of a traditional dinner for all delegations.

This is the first time that President Bush has met a Lebanese president. Bush's meetings with Lebanese officials were limited to the prime minister and pro-government leaders, after his administration isolated former President Emil Lahoud who had strong relations with Syria


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