Lebanon seeks stronger military ties with Russia over Syrian conflict



MOSCOW (dpa)- Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri on Wednesday, as the Middle Eastern nation looks to avoid spillover from the conflict in neighbouring Syria.
Lebanon would like to raise military collaboration with Russia to the same superb level as that of the countries' political relations, al-Hariri told Putin, according to a press release.



Russia has been the main military backer of Syria's controversial president, Bashar al-Assad, in that country's multisided civil war.
Some Western and regional powers have accused al-Assad's regime of committing crimes against humanity, including killing civilians.
Al-Hariri, who was meeting with Putin in the southern Russian city of Sochi for the first time since becoming prime minister last year, has been an outspoken critic of al-Assad.
The Lebanese prime minister said his visit to Russia was important "in light of the ongoing contacts to find a solution to the Syrian crisis and protect Lebanon from its negative repercussions," according to a statement by his office.
Earlier this week, Lebanese Interior Minister Nouhad Mashnouk met with Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev as part of the effort to boost bilateral ties.
They discussed "issues of Russian-Lebanese cooperation in the sphere of security, including the fight against international terrorist groups," the Russian Security Council said in comments carried by state news agency TASS.
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Thursday, September 14th 2017
dpa
           


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