President of the Republic, Michel Aoun, on Wednesday welcomed at Baabda palace Russian President's special envoy, Alexander Lavrentyev, who visited him in the company of Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergey Vershinin, in presence of Russian Ambassador to Lebanon, Alexander Zasypkin.
Lebanon is interested in taking part in the Astana conference to discuss the Syrian crisis," President Michel Aoun told his visiting delegation.
"The conference facilitates efforts to find a political solution that will contribute to the return of Syrian refugees to their country, especially since there are more than 1.5 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, whose displacement has had negative repercussions on various Lebanese sectors, as well as on official and private administrations and institutions," Aoun added.
However, the President insisted that Lebanon's participation in the Astana conference did not negate Lebanon's right to discuss with the Syrian state the return of refugees to Syria. He also highlighted the paramount importance of Russia's support on this level.
In turn, the Russian envoy conveyed to his host President Vladimir Putin's greetings, and presented him with an invitation to attend the imminent Astana talks on Syria.
The Russian leadership highly appreciates the outcome of President Aoun's visit to Moscow and considers that it has given a new impetus to the Lebanese-Russian relations, especially with the potential to develop these relations, the Russian envoy said.
Moscow looks forward to more coordination with Lebanon in appreciation of its role and positions, as well as it moderate policy vis-a-vis regional development, he added.
Lavrentyev called on Lebanon to take part in the Astana negotiations on the situation in Syria, pointing out that his country considers the participation of Lebanon and Iraq necessary in the search for a solution to the Syrian crisis.
Moscow will exert more efforts to address the situation in Syria, in coordination with the personal representative of the UN Secretary-General in Syria, Ambassador Geir Pedersen," he said, adding that Moscow "is continuing to combat terrorism."
Source: National News Agency