Klaus begins five-day trip to Lebanon and Cyprus
Czech President Vaclav Klaus has arrived in Beirut for a three-day official visit to Lebanon. Accompanied by his wife Livia, Mr Klaus visited the National Museum, and met speaker of the Lebanese Parliament Nabih Birri and Government Chairman Rafik Hariri. On Monday night, the Czech presidential couple attend a festive dinner, organised in their honour by Mr Klaus's counterpart Emile Lahoud. The Czech President will also be giving a lecture at the American University of Beirut and hopes to do some sightseeing in the Lebanese capital before leaving for Cyprus on Wednesday, where he is scheduled to stay for two days.
The Czech Republic has maintained diplomatic relations with Lebanon since 1947. The annual trade balance between Lebanon and the Czech Republic has decreased steadily in the last five years from 55 million dollars to 33 million dollars this year, largely favouring Prague, according to official figures. Lebanon mainly imports food, agricultural and chemical products as well as paper, milk, textiles, cars and crystal from the Czech Republic while its exports include agricultural, chemical and mineral products.