Russia is willing to expand friendly ties and strengthen coordination with Lebanon in every sphere, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov said in opening remarks to talks with visiting Lebanese counterpart Rafiq al-Hariri on Friday. Kasyanov pointed out that the economic situation has been conducive to stepping up the cooperation and has provided for the signing of a series of agreements in the past few years, which have yielded a good basis for developing bilateral ties. These include the agreement on avoiding double taxation, the one on encouragement of investment, and the one on tourism. "The important thing is that industrialists and entrepreneurs of our two countries have established good contacts, and it is in that milieu that ideas of new joint projects have been born," Kasyanov said. The Russian head of government was positive the Lebanese premier's visit would "revitalize" the ties and clear the way to the implementation of joint projects, some of which were on the talks' agenda.
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