Sleiman Frangieh meets Lavrov, Bogdanov in Moscow, stresses need for displaced persons’ repatriation

President of the Marada Movement, Sleiman Frangieh, held a series of meetings at the Russian capital, Moscow, which he visited with a Marada delegation that included his son, MP Tony Frangieh, member of the Political Bureau, former Minister Roni Araiji, and Foreign Affairs Adviser Antoine Merheb.

According to a statement by the Marada movement, "Frangieh and the delegation met with Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, at the Foreign Ministry in Moscow, in the presence of the Special Representative of the Russian President for Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and advisers. Discussions touched on the latest developments in Lebanon and the Middle East, as well as on the situation of displaced Syrians in Lebanon and the role of Russia in the region. There also was a confirmation of the depth of relations between Lebanon and Russia."

Lavrov welcomed Frangieh and the delegation, explaining "the history of the relations between Lebanon and Russia," stressing "his country's interest in Lebanon's sovereignty and independence." "We are interested in preserving Lebanon as a sovereign, united and independent State. I strongly believe that the political camp that you represent is an integral part of the Lebanese society. This camp wants all the Lebanese, regardless of their ethnic and religious affiliation, to agree on all the complex issues at the internal scene."

"Russia, like all of Lebanon's true friends, welcomed the parliamentary elections held back in May, which allowed the end of a long political crisis," Lavrov said, stressing that "Today, as the government is being formed on the basis of these elections, it is very important for us to hear your assessment of the prospects for reaching relevant agreements, because stability in Lebanon depends on that and the ability of the Lebanese to determine their own destiny without external interference."

"We have an interest in your assessment of the situation in the region, especially in neighboring countries. I mean Syria in the first place. We will be willing to share Russia's efforts to help solve the crisis in Syria as soon as possible," he added.

For his part, Frangieh thanked the invitation addressed to him to visit Moscow, briefing his host on his views over the "developments in Lebanon and the Middle East," stressing the need for "the return of Syrian refugees to their country and the preservation of State entities."

He also highlighted the importance of "cooperation in the battle against terrorism."

In the wake of the meeting, the Marada leader headed to the headquarters of the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mikhail Bogdanov, with whom he held a meeting that dwelled on the process of forming a government in Lebanon, as well as the economic and social conditions and the impact of displaced persons on the overall situation.

Source: National News Agency

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