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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

PREMIER RECEIVES HONORARY DOCTORATE FROM UNIVERSITY IN LEBANON


On behalf of the people of NSW, Premier Barry O’Farrell has received an Honorary Doctorate from the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik during his visit to Lebanon.

The ceremony at the University was one of the highlights of a day of visits to sites across the country.

“This Honorary Doctorate from a renowned university honours the relationship between the people of NSW and the people of Lebanon, as much as it does any individual. It is therefore particularly humbling to receive it,” Mr O’Farrell said.

“I sincerely hope that my current visit to Lebanon conveys the high esteem in which the Government and people of NSW hold the Lebanese community, and reflects my desire to foster an even closer and more productive relationship, including in the field of education.

“As Premier of NSW, I encourage and support efforts to increase educational links between universities in my state and in Lebanon. I urged the fine staff and alumni gathered to work towards that goal,” Mr O’Farrell said.

Earlier in the day Mr O’Farrell also toured the Khalil Gibran Museum and visited the Qozhya Monastery. He also visited the villages of Bcharre and Al Minie where he met with local mayors and community leaders.
 
"Many Lebanese immigrants to Australia hail from these regions and, although they have returned to their homeland, they maintain strong ties with New South Wales.
 
“These immigrants brought with them the very best that Lebanon had to offer – the generosity and warmth of the Lebanese people, as well as the innovation and trade savvy of their Phoenician ancestors.

“I was delighted to meet people in these villages who have visited New South Wales to see their family and friends and have been left with such a positive impression of our State,” Mr O’Farrell said.

On his final day in Lebanon, Mr O’Farrell met the President, His Excellency General Michel Sleiman, the Prime Minister His Excellency Mr Najib Mikati, and the Speaker of the Parliament His Excellency Nabih Berri.

The Premier closed his tour of Lebanon by attending a Presidential Lunch, also attended by the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Information Minister.


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