Lavrentiev visits Hariri: It is time for a political solution in Syria
Prime Minister Saad Hariri received Wednesday afternoon at the Grand Serail the Russian president’s special envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Vershinin, the Russian Ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Zaspykin and the accompanying delegation, in the presence of former Minister Ghattas Khoury and Premier Hariri’s advisor for Russian Affairs Georges Chaaban.
Discussions focused on the Russian envoy’s mission, the latest local and regional developments and the bilateral relations and continued over lunch.
After lunch, Lavrentiev spoke on behalf of the delegation. He said: "We discussed with Prime Minister Hariri the situation in the Middle East and Syria. We also discussed a number of joint measures with the Lebanese side to achieve stability in Lebanon and the Middle East. Eight years after the beginning of the Syrian crisis, we agreed that it is time to allow a political solution to this crisis, and we share the view that it is time for a political solution in Syria. The most important thing is to organize the constitutional committee”.
He added: “We are ready to work together with our Lebanese friends in the context of the Astana path, and we are determined to make more efforts and coordinate with the international partners such as the United States, Europe and regional countries. We also discussed a specific issue that concerns Lebanon, which is the refugees, and agreed to exert more joint efforts to accelerate the return of the Syrian refugees to their homeland”.
He said: “Our common agreement allows us to accelerate the solution to this problem because the presence of the displaced Syrians deepens the problem.
We agreed with the Lebanese side to further coordinate with the partners, especially the European countries, to convince them to accompany the process of the return of the displaced”.
He continued: “On the bilateral relations between Lebanon and Russia, we share the view that the relations are developing, and we emphasize the need to develop them in all fields, by strengthening cooperation on all levels”.
He concluded: "We highly appreciate the discussions we held today in Beirut. They were fruitful, full of trust and very useful, and the continued coordination between the two sides is in the interest of the Lebanese and Russian peoples. Russia is ready to help the Lebanese people in all fields”.