MOSCOW, September 18. /TASS/. Moscow expects the impending parliamentary election in Lebanon in spring 2018 will help strengthen unity and stability in this country, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated on Monday after a meeting between the Russian Special Presidential Envoy for Middle East and African Countries, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and Advisor of the Lebanese Prime Minister for Russian Affairs George Shaaban.
"Russia expects the parliamentary election, that is to be held in the Lebanese Republic in the spring of 2018, will demonstrate the free will of the Lebanese to build up their country’s unity and stability," the ministry reported.
"During the conversation, the Russian side has confirmed its steady position in support of Lebanon’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and solution of all national agenda issues within the legal framework and through a dialogue between the country’s leading political forces in the spirit of fruitful cooperation between them. This approach provides for preservation of internal balance on the basis of regard for the interests of all parts of the multireligious Lebanese society," the ministry noted.
Moscow pointed to the growth of effective operation of Lebanese state institutes after overcoming the "power vacuum" of 2014-2016, as can be seen from the Lebanese army’s wipeout of the Islamic State and al-Nusra Front (both terror organizations outlawed in Russia - TASS) near the Lebanese-Syrian border. "Positive processes undergoing in neighboring Syria, success in the fight against international terrorism, establishment of de-escalation zones and creation of conditions for speedy advancement towards political settlement on the basis of the UN Security Council’s Resolution 2254 pave the way for safe return of over one million Syrian refugees staying in Lebanon to their homeland," the Russian Foreign Ministry affirmed.
The parties also expressed satisfaction with the results of the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s visit to Russia on September 11-13, having noted "general firm stance for further deepening and extension of the whole specter of traditionally friendly Russian-Lebanese relations, including bolstering mutually beneficial partnership in the economy, investments, defense, security, culture, ecology and humanitarian exchanges. ".