Hezbollah's Hassan Nasrallah 311 (R).
(photo credit: Reuters)
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov met with Hezbollah leader
Hassan Nasrallah on Saturday night along with other top Lebanese leaders to
conclude his three-day visit to the country.
The Russian ambassador to
Lebanon, Alexander Zaspikin, also took part in the meeting, which dealt with the
unstable situation in Lebanon and Syria, according to a report in the Lebanese
Hezbollah’s Al-Manar website reported that Ammar Mousawi, the
group’s official responsible for international relations, was also in
The London-based daily Al-Hayat reported on Sunday that
Bogdanov expressed reservations to Nasrallah about its fighting alongside Syrian
President Bashar Assad’s forces, and called for separating Lebanon from the war
The minister tried to gather support for the Geneva plan agreed
upon in June 2012, which calls for a transitional government in Syria, according
to the AP. Bogdanov claimed that this was the only way to end the conflict. The
plan called for an end to the fighting, but did not call for Assad to step
Bogdanov also said in Lebanon that rumors regarding the use of
chemical weapons should not be a pretext for invading the country, according to
a report by the Al- Arabiya news site on Saturday.
“If there is serious
evidence of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, it should be presented
immediately and not concealed,” said Bogdanov. “We must check the information
immediately and in conformity with international criteria and not use it to
achieve other objectives. It must not be a pretext for an intervention in
Syria,” he added according to the report.
Bogdanov is also set to visit
Jordan as part of his regional tour.
Last week, the US administration
seemed to come around to claims by Israel, the UK, and France that there is
evidence the Syrian regime used chemical weapons against its own people. The US
is looking into the matter more deeply before coming to a definitive conclusion.