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Lebanese President: Ties with Syria are Normalized, We Will Participate in its Reconstruction

Lebanese President: Ties with Syria are Normalized, We Will Participate in its Reconstruction

Friday, 22 March, 2019 - 09:00
Lebanese President Michel Aoun during his meeting with Russian correspondents at the Baabda Palace. (Dalati & Nohra)
Beirut - Asharq Al-Awsat
Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun said relations between Beirut and Moscow “are historic and date back to the 19th century.”

He noted that during his upcoming visit to Moscow on March 25-26, he would discuss “means to develop these relations in various fields, in addition to other topics, including the issues of the displaced and the Russian initiative.”

Aoun met on Thursday with Russian media correspondents on the eve of his state trip where he is scheduled to hold talks with President Vladimir Putin.

Touching on the issue of displaced Syrians, Aoun said: “Lebanon will review the international conditions, but will act according to its supreme interests. The international community is not helping [Lebanon], while the country is helping the Syrians return home, as around 172,000 refugees have returned to their homeland to date.”

On relations with Syria, the president stressed that they are “normalized”.

“If a visit is required, it will be possible, but if it is not necessary, then the ambassadors, ministers and the Higher Coordination Council can discuss the relevant issues,” he said.

Emphasizing Lebanon’s intention to participate in the reconstruction of Syria, Aoun noted: “Pressure is exerted on everyone not to participate in this process, in light of the international community's linking reconstruction and repatriation of displaced people to the political solution.”

“The international community seeks to take the displaced hostage in the political solution talks,” he maintained.

Separately, Aoun said the embargo on Hezbollah was affecting all the Lebanese.

“Lebanon is living under the siege imposed on the region, especially since it cannot work with Syria, and Hezbollah is also financially besieged. So we became internationally trapped, because the negative impact of the blockade on [Hezbollah] affects all Lebanese, including Lebanese banks,” he remarked.

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