The two sides emphasised their mutual desire to work toward broadening multidimensional Russian-Lebanese cooperation and making full use of the existing potential for cooperation in energy, infrastructure, the humanitarian sector, culture, and other areas.
The two leaders exchanged views on the situation in the Middle East. Dmitry Medvedev and Saad Hariri gave similar assessments of the need to continue efforts to maintain and promote the Middle East peace process in order to reach a just, all-encompassing settlement in the Arab-Israeli conflict on universally recognised foundations of international law.
Ways to maintain Lebanon’s internal political stability were also discussed. Dmitry Medvedev stressed that all the critical issues on the Lebanese domestic agenda must be resolved by the Lebanese people themselves, without external interference, on the basis of the constitution, dialogue, and agreement between all leading political forces and religious denominations.
The President of Russia also emphasised Russia’s continued support for the on-going investigation by the Special Tribunal into the death of the Lebanese Prime Minister’s father, Rafic Hariri, which must be brought to an end.
Opening the meeting, the Russian leader also congratulated Saad Hariri, the people of Lebanon, and all Muslims on the Eid holiday.
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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr Prime Minister,
I am glad to have this meeting with you as part of your visit to our country. Before we turn to our agenda, I would like to congratulate you and all Muslims who live in Lebanon and around the world on Eid al-Adha, the Festival of Sacrifice, which is known in our country as Kurban Bairam. Congratulations.
We last met nearly a year ago at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference. Since then, relations between Russia and Lebanon have been evolving, and I am glad that your President has visited our country and now we have the opportunity to welcome you.
There are several interesting economic projects and our humanitarian ties, and we will certainly review them, as well as the overall situation in the Middle East, which is always in the spotlight and the focus of regular consultations. I would like to discuss this situation with you.
Once again, welcome to Moscow and I look forward to a comprehensive strengthening of cooperation between Russia and the Republic of Lebanon.
Prime Minister of Lebanon Saad Hariri (retranslated): Your Excellency, Mr President of the Russian Federation,
Thank you very much for your warm welcome and for your congratulations on the occasion of Eid al-Adha. I spent this morning in prayer at one of Moscow’s mosques.
Political relations between Russia and Lebanon are developing very successfully, and our challenge is to lift trade and economic relations to the same high level.
Russia has always stood by Lebanon, taking up a position in our support. It supported us during the difficult period of political killings in our country, as well as during the 2006 war.
Regarding the situation in the Middle East, it remains most complicated, and we will certainly discuss it in detail.