Russia’s Putin to discuss Golan Heights with Lebanon’s president

Russia’s Putin to discuss Golan Heights with Lebanon’s president

MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin will discuss the US decision to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights with Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun at talks in Moscow later on Tuesday, the Kremlin said.

Their scheduled meeting came after US President Donald Trump signed a proclamation on Monday officially granting US recognition of the Golan Heights as Israeli territory.

“Such decisions undoubtedly have negative consequences from the point of view of a settlement in the Middle East and the general atmosphere of political settlement in Syria,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

Aoun arrived in Moscow on Monday and is expected to sit down for talks with Putin at the Kremlin later on Tuesday.

The presidents will also discuss Syrian refugees in Lebanon. The country has taken in over 1 million refugees, of what is equivalent of a quarter of Lebanon’s population.

Aoun said at a meeting Tuesday with Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of the lower house of Russian parliament, that Lebanon faces “a terrible economic fall-out” from the Syrian crisis and expressed hope that Russia would help his country repatriate the Syrians.

Lebanese politicians are divided over how to handle relations with the Syrian government and repatriation of refugees and look to Moscow to help to mediate that.

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