Hezbollah chief Nasrallah meets Russian deputy foreign minister in Beirut

Moscow’s deputy foreign minister, Mikhail Bogdanov, also met with the leaders of Lebanon’s rival political and sectarian factions.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
December 7, 2014 10:07
1 minute read.
Hassan Nasrallah

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. (photo credit: ALMANAR)

A Kremlin official traveled to Lebanon recently and met with Hezbollah secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah, the official Russian news agency ITAR-TASS reported on Sunday.

Moscow’s deputy foreign minister, Mikhail Bogdanov, also met with the leaders of Lebanon’s rival political and sectarian factions. The two-day trip was seen as a gesture of Russian goodwill and an expression of its support for efforts to forge a unity government.

According to ITAR-TASS, Bogdanov met with other key figures in the Lebanese political scene, including Christian leaders Michel Aoun and Amin Gemayel; top Sunni lawmakers Fouad Siniora and Mohammad Raad; and Druse head Walid Jumblatt.

Bogdanov said that Russia supported Lebanon’s territorial integrity and expressed hope that the military could sufficiently repel the threat posed by Islamist gunmen operating on the country’s border with Syria.

Families of Lebanese soldiers held by militants blocked roads in Beirut and highways between major cities on Saturday, pressing the government to do more to free them.

More than two dozen members of the Lebanese security forces are being held by Sunni Islamists. One leading Sunni militant, Abu Ali al-Shishani, has pledged to attack Lebanese women and children and end talks to free the soldiers, after his wife was detained by authorities.

The threat, delivered in a video distributed on jihadist websites, was published on Friday hours before the group said it had killed one of the Lebanese soldiers it holds.

Lebanese authorities earlier this week said they had detained a wife of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The wife of Shishani has also been arrested.

“We have discussed with our Lebanese friends what is happening now in the Middle East,” Bogdanov said. “The situation here remains dangerous and alarming. It is impossible to find any fundamental solution to the problems without a dialogue involving all concerned parties.”


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