Israeli Ambassador Michael Harari, attend the Energy forum by special invitation, he came to the place – the University of Cyprus – around 10 am.
At 11.15, on schedule, President Christofias arrived with Gebran Bassil, Lebanese Minister of Energy and Water Resources.
According to the agenda – which had been established in advance – Christofias was to give a keynote speech, followed immediately by Bassil, whose address about the future of Lebanon as an energy producer.
Just before the President took a step inside the room, attendees – delegates from the industry and the media – had been asked to stand. It proved a false alarm, because people were asked to retake their seats and wait for the next cue up – which happened a couple of minutes later.
Meanwhile, it seems, Harari was approached by the organizers and asked to leave. He said the Lebanese minister informed them that he would not speak unless and until Harari left.
Once the ambassador of Israel left the room, Christofias and Bassil walked in.
Harari confirmed that he was asked to leave the local field at the insistence of the Lebanese Minister of Energy.
“It’s a pity that it happened,” he later told the news media.
“I decided to leave in order not to embarrass the president,” he said, adding: “. The organizers should have handled it differently.”
Ironically, one of the themes of the forum was the need for energy cooperation among the nations of the region.
As you might recall, there is a dispute between Israel and Lebanon over their maritime boundaries. Cyprus, however, is supposed to be on our side. Their kowtowing to Lebanon is inexplicable and ought to be met with a formal diplomatic protest.
hey… if you don’t want the business… the Jews really don’t need to come