saniora gestures 298.88.
(photo credit: AP)
Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora said that his government was eager to improve strained relations with Syria but warned Damascus against meddling in Lebanon's domestic politics, according to an interview published Monday.
Saniora, speaking to the daily Vremya Novostei, said that he told Russian officials during his trip to Moscow last week that Russia could help normalize the situation in Lebanon by using its contacts with Iran and Syria.
"Russia could help Lebanon stop serving as an arena for somebody else's battles and become a normal, successful country," Saniora was quoted by Vremya Novostei as saying.
Hizbullah and its allies have been holding protests and an open-ended sit-in against Saniora's US backed government in an attempt to force it to resign. The group is demanding a national unity government in which it would have wider representation with effective veto powers.
Saniora said that he had proposed to Syrian President Bashar Assad to hold talks, but insisted that the agenda for the meeting must be set in advance.
"Lebanon will not be directed by anyone against Syria, but it will never again be governed by Syria," he was quoted as saying.
Saniora told Vremya Novostei that Lebanon would be grateful to Russia if it helps mediate relations between Syria and Lebanon.
Assad was expected to arrive in Moscow Monday for a two-day visit.