Moscow, December 15, Interfax - Russian Deputy Foreign Minister and special presidential representative for the Middle East Mikhail Bogdanov discussed the situation in the region, particularly in Syria, with the leaders of some Lebanese religious denominations and political groups in Beirut.
Bogdanov was received by Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rahi of Antioch, met with Orthodox Gathering leader Marwan Abou Fadel, and conversed with Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt, Marada Movement leader Suleiman Frangieh, Lebanese Forces party leader Samir Geagea, and Social Nationalist Party leader Assaad Hardan, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The participants in the meetings discussed Russian-Lebanese relations and ways to step up bilateral cooperation in the trade-economic, investment, humanitarian and other fields.
"Special significance was attached to maintaining an active inter-religious dialogue and the protection of Christians in the Middle East," it said.
"In the course of a broad exchange of opinions on Middle Eastern affairs, both parties stressed the need to settle conflict situations in countries of the region, primarily in Syria, by way of arranging an inclusive national dialogue, which would simultaneously help consolidate efforts to efficiently combat the universal terrorist threat," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.