Diplomatic relations between Syria and Lebanon has improved.
The establishment of diplomatic ties and the opening of embassies will top the agenda of this week's Damascus summit between the Lebanese and Syrian presidents, a Lebanese official said on Monday.
Syrian Vice President Farouq Al-Shara hailed on Wednesday the imminent establishment of the Syrian-Lebanese diplomatic ties, saying the relations could bring about great benefits to both countries if they were properly used, reported KUNA news agency.
Lebanese President Michel Sleiman and his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad, whose countries have not had diplomatic ties since independence more than 60 years ago, are to meet on Wednesday and Thursday.
"We attribute great importance to the issue which could have a great impact on the growth of economic cooperation and commercial ties," Al-Shara affirmed.
"Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad called several times for establishing diplomatic ties with Lebanon since 2005. The two countries reached common understanding on the issue which was discussed by the higher Syrian-Lebanese Council when Omar Karami was prime minister of Lebanon, Al-Shara recalled. The legal steps have yet to be taken to establish embassies in both countries and exchange ambassadors," he noted.
"We hope that the talks will give strong impetus to the establishment of diplomatic ties and pave the way for maximizing the benefits of bilateral ties in all fields," he added.
Suleiman plans to pay a two-day state visit to Syria, the first of its kind since he took office as the 12th president of the Lebanese republic on May 25.
The anti-Syrian camp which holds the majority in Lebanon's parliament wants both the treaty and the council to be scrapped.
But the council's secretary general, Nasri Khouri, said embassies did not spell the end of the coordination body. "There will be coordination between the two countries' embassies and the council," he told AFP.
The demarcation of borders between Syria and Lebanon will also be discussed as well as the fate of the Israeli-occupied Shebaa Farms, where Beirut claims sovereignty with the consent of Damascus, the official said.