Hariri after meeting with Putin: We are in the same war against terrorism

Wed 13 Sep 2017 at 18:39 Politics
NNA - The President of the Council of Ministers Saad Hariri met today with the Russian President Vladimir Putin at his residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
The meeting was attended by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Russian Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin, Putin's advisor for international affairs Yuri Ushakov, Hariri's chief of staff Nader Hariri and his advisor for Russian affairs Georges Chaaban.

After the meeting, Prime Minister Hariri spoke to the reporters:
"I met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and we discussed many issues that interest both the two countries, especially the economic issues. The discussion yesterday with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev also focused on economic cooperation. We also discussed Russia's military assistance to Lebanon and ways to develop this relation and facilitate the purchase of Russian equipment through a credit line.
We discussed the situation in the region and agreed on many things and we are in the process of developing the political and economic relation for the benefit of the two countries".

Did you ask President Putin to help in the issue of delineating and demarcating the border between Lebanon and Syria?
Hariri: We discussed several issues and touched on this issue briefly. The focus for me was on ways to develop our economic relations.

Question: Did you address the issue of preserving Lebanon's neutrality?
Hariri: President Putin supports this very much, especially since Lebanon has been able to protect itself from all the repercussions of what is happening around it. It has shown that the path to stability is political understanding.

Question: Did you discuss what is being said about a deal soon in Syria and the region?
Hariri: We certainly talked about this issue and exchanged views on the interest of Lebanon and the interest of the region.

Question: What is Lebanon's interest?
Hariri: For President Putin and me, stability in Syria is going through various stages, and this is the beginning of a stage. It is very important that all countries that are supervising this with Russia be sincere in this regard.
As you know, there are de-escalation zones. For President Putin, it is important that this continues and it is the responsibility of the countries involved in it, and then the political solution will begin.

Question: Will we witness Russian investments in Lebanon and what about the reconstruction in Syria?
Hariri: We hope that Russian companies will invest in projects in Lebanon. Several companies participated in tenders for gas exploration. They have real opportunities of success. We encourage all Russian companies to come to Lebanon. Regarding Syria's reconstruction, Lebanon can be a platform. We set up a plan for investment in infrastructure and we encourage Russian companies to invest in it. There is the port of Tripoli and a plan for railways and airports to be established. When a political solution is reached in Syria, Lebanon may be a hub for the reconstruction of Syria.

Question: Did you discuss the military cooperation with Russia and the situation in Syria?
Hariri: The military cooperation between Russia and Lebanon is important, and there is great cooperation between Lebanon and Russian intelligence. We are in the same war against terrorism. At the same time, we are trying to build up the Lebanese armed forces and security forces. We talked about this with President Putin, and I think this relation will be good between the two countries.

Question: How do you see the visit of the Saudi king next month to Russia?
Hariri: King Salman will visit Russia as we understood. We believe that these relations are historic and they will achieve positive results for the Arab and Islamic world. -- PRESS RELEASE


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