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Lebanon's tourism minister apologizes to Egypt for offensive comments

Ahram Online, Wednesday 7 Nov 2018
Lebanese tourism minister Avedis Guidanian, Egypt
Lebanese tourism minister Avedis Guidanian (R) visits Egypt's Ambassador to Lebanon Nazih El-Nagary (L) to extend his apologies over offensive comments made on Egypt (Photo: Egypt's foreign ministry)
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Lebanon's Tourism Minister apologized to Egypt Tuesday for offensive comments he had made on the latter country's living conditions.

In an official statement, Egypt’s foreign ministry said caretaker Lebanese minister Avedis Guidanian had visited Egypt's Ambassador to Lebanon Nazih El-Nagary to apologize for the comments, affirming his respect for the Egyptian leadership and people.

In an exclusive interview published on Monday with Lebanon's English-language Daily Star, Guidanian said excessively negative media reports about Lebanon were ruining his country's image.

“I mean look at Egypt - is there a place dirtier than it? People are louder than us, there is more traffic than here – people live in graves, OK? But there is tourism, because they know how to sell that country,” he said during the interview.

According to the ministry's statement, El-Nagary called Guidanian on Monday after the interview was published to officially express dismay over his comments on Egypt.

The Lebanese minister said he did not use the word "dirtier" in the interview to describe Egypt, which he said is successful in attracting tourism despite difficulties.  

On his Twitter account, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad El-Hariri said the relationship between Egypt and Lebanon is strong and would not to be affected by "misuse of terms." 

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