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Russian, Lebanese ministers to discuss situation in Syria

March 20, 2012, 6:22 UTC+3

They will give focus to the ways of settling the situation in Syria with the assistance of the UN and Kofi Annan

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MOSCOW, March 20 (Itar-Tass) — Situation in and around Syria, Middle East regional problems on a broader scale and Russian-Lebanese bilateral relations are the central issues on the agenda of the talks that the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, is going to have here Tuesday with the visiting Lebanese Foreign Minister, Adnan Mansour, who has arrived in Russia on a working visit.

Mansour is also expected to have meetings with Alexei Pushkov, the chairman of foreign policy committee in the State Duma, and Nikolai Patrushev, the Secretary of Russia’s Security Council.

It is expected that the sides will pay special attention to the situation around Syria. Moscow insists firmly on giving the Syrians an opportunity to resolve their national crisis on their own and without an imposition of any solutions from the outside.

In the light of it, participants in the talks will give focus to the ways of settling the situation in Syria with the assistance of the UN and Arab League’s special envoy, Kofi Annan.

The discussion of the general situation in the region will certainly include Lebanon. Since Russia fully supports the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Lebanon, it insists on strict abidance by all the provisions of the UN Security Council’s resolution 1701.

“We’re confident of the importance of maintaining regular contacts with all the political forces that represent the various segments of the highly diversified Lebanese society,” a spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry said earlier. “This is necessary for the preservation of religious and civil peace in Lebanon and for the solution of outstanding problems on the national political agenda through dialogue.”

There will also be an exchange of opinion on the central problem of the Middle East, namely, the Arab-Israeli conflict.

“We proceed from the importance of giving an impulse to practical actions specified in the September 23, 2011, statement of the international Quartet of mediators,” the spokesman said. “Any unilateral actions – and especially the construction of /Jewish/ settlements /in the West Bank of the Jordan/ -- that predetermine the outcome of the peace efforts undermine trust between the parties to the conflict and spoil the atmosphere for the resumption of negotiations.”

Russian diplomats point to the dynamic nature of the traditionally friendly relations between this country and Lebanon. Special time will be reserved at the talks for considering bilateral trade and economic relations between the two nations as specified by decisions of the Russian-Lebanese intergovernmental commission that had a meeting in Moscow last November. 

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