Walid Joumblatt's diplomatic visit to Russia: Shifting focus amidst regional turmoil

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2024-02-10 | 00:33
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Walid Joumblatt's diplomatic visit to Russia: Shifting focus amidst regional turmoil
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Walid Joumblatt's diplomatic visit to Russia: Shifting focus amidst regional turmoil

President Walid Joumblatt's visit to Russia and the talks he held with Russian officials, including Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian President Vladimir Putin's envoy to the Middle East, Mikhail Bogdanov, captured attention away from other security and political developments in Lebanon and the region. 

This article was originally published in and translated from Lebanese online newspaper Al-Anbaa.
This mainly includes field developments in the south, Israeli attacks on border villages, and the ongoing aggression against the Gaza Strip.

Political sources following Joumblatt's visit to Moscow, speaking to "Al-Anbaa," highlighted the warmth with which Russian officials received Joumblatt and their notable interest. 

They indicated that the discussions covered various international developments, with Joumblatt explaining his perspective on these issues and listening to the Russian position. 

Topics ranged from the war in Ukraine to developments in the region, ongoing Israeli aggression against Gaza, ways to halt this aggression, and the Lebanese dossier.

Additionally, they discussed the urgency of electing a president as soon as possible to end the presidential deadlock and fortify state institutions, especially amidst increasing pressures on Lebanon economically and security-wise.

Lebanon's ambassador to Russia, Shawki Bou Nassar, described the visit in an interview with "Al-Anbaa" as extremely important, especially given the precise timing amidst the difficult circumstances in which Lebanon and the region find themselves."

"This is due to Israeli attacks and accompanying tensions in various places, including Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and the Red Sea, which threaten a widespread explosion jeopardizing global security and stability," he continued.

Bou Nassar added, "Walid Bek's visit, the historical leader, along with the official statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry and the warm reception he received from Russian officials, all confirm the strength and depth of the historical relations that began in the days of the Soviet Union with the martyred leader Kamal Joumblatt."

"The relations continued and strengthened with Walid Bek and will undoubtedly continue with Teymour Joumblatt, as affirmed by Russian officials who always express Russia's consistent stance in supporting Lebanon, its stability, and security," Bou Nassar said.

In the context of Lebanese developments, political sources focused on the visit of Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian to Beirut, where he is meeting with Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Najib Mikati, Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib, and Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah.

Sources indicated that the visit "is linked to the expected truce in Gaza and southern Lebanon. Abdollahian, who affirmed Iran's continued support for the resistance, revealed that his country informed the United States that it does not want war in the region. 

The visit aims to reassure Iran's allies, especially Hezbollah, about not expanding the military confrontation with Israel and the necessity of committing to the truce when it comes into effect."

In light of these developments and the implications of Joumblatt's visit to Russia, political forces are urged to propose solutions to their crises and end the presidential vacuum at any cost because maintaining the status quo is no longer acceptable and could lead to Lebanon's downfall.

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