Lavrov receives Hariri: We are keen to see Lebanon overcome its internal crisis

Wed 30 Mar 2016 at 15:58 Politics
NNA - Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov received today Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri at the Foreign Ministry in Moscow, in the presence of the Minister of Interior and Municipalities Nohad Machnouk, former MP Ghattas Khoury, Hariri's chief of staff Nader Hariri and his advisor for Russian Affairs Georges Chaaban.


The Russian side was represented by Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa department at the ministry of Foreign Affairs Andrey Panov and the head of the Middle East Office Dimitri Dogatekin.


At the beginning of the meeting, Lavrov welcomed Hariri and the accompanying delegation and said: "Russia is working regularly with all Lebanese political forces, not just with the government but also with the political leaders and the Lebanese political forces including the "Future Movement" that we respect. This reflects our interest in preserving the foundations of the Lebanese society and the institutions of the Lebanese state. And we are keen to see Lebanon succeed in overcoming its internal crisis as soon as possible".


He added: "Our position is a position of principle. The Lebanese people must solve all its problems by itself, while respecting Lebanon's sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence, and away from any external influence. We look forward to seeing all external partners take the same stance and respect these principles, in order to contribute to create the conditions that will enable Lebanon to overcome its problems.


In the context of this approach, we highly estimate the regular contacts taking place between you and the representatives of the Russian leadership.
We met last time in May in Sochi, and I look forward to a useful and constructive meeting and to hearing from you, as one of the Lebanese political leaders, your evaluations of the internal situation in Lebanon and the situation of the region, which is very complex. This requires us to coordinate permanently, and we are very glad that you are in Moscow".


Hariri thanked Lavrov for his hospitality and said: "We are always interested in cooperating and communicating with you regarding Lebanon and the Arab region. There is no doubt that our country and its institutions are going through a very difficult stage, especially in light of what is going on around us. So we came to discuss things, and cooperate with you to solve the crises that we are facing.
As you said, there are interventions taking place in the region, especially in Lebanon to prevent the election of a President, and we must discuss this issue."


He added: "We appreciate the great role that Russia is playing in the region, and we look forward to a Russian role in Lebanon as well, and to cooperate with you to combat terrorism in the region, and particularly what is happening on our borders. There are many things to discuss with you, and hopefully the talks will be constructive."


==================R.H.

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