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Israeli ambassador to Cyprus "asked to leave" energy forum

February 17, 2014 at 11:18 pm

The Israeli ambassador to Cyprus has been asked to leave an energy forum at the University of Cyprus following complaints by a Lebanese minister to the organisers.

Ambassador Michael Harari was at the 2nd Levant Energy Forum by special invitation to discuss the energy situation in the River Litani basin in Lebanon. However, Lebanon’s Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Gebran Bassil, refused to enter the venue while the Israeli official was there.

According to the conference agenda, Cypriot President Christofias was to give an inauguration speech followed by Bassil, whose speech looked at the future of Lebanon as an energy producer. When asked to leave, Mr. Harari went quietly in order not to embarrass the president. He complained that the organisers “should have handled it differently”.

Last year the Israeli Embassy tried to register for the event, but was told that there were no places available. The 1st Levant Energy Forum was attended by Lebanese officials.