Miqati Meets Putin on Sidelines of Sochi Games, Tackles Regional Developments

Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Miqati discussed with Russian President Vladimir Putin the latest developments in the region and the bilateral ties between the two countries.

Miqati, who is currently in Russia, also held talks with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev on the sidelines of his visit to the country to attend the opening of the winter Olympic opening ceremony in Sochi.

"Lebanon is keen to participate in all the international sport events to stress the country's distinctive presence in all occasions,” Miqati was quoted as saying.

A statement issued by the Premiers press office on Saturday also pointed out that the PM and his wife May attended a reception held in honor of the heads of the delegations participating in the opening of the 22nd winter Olympics.

Miqati is accompanied by caretaker Youth and Sports Minister Faisal Karami, his wife and head of the Youth and Sports parliamentary committee MP Simon Abi Ramia and his wife.

There was general praise for the opening spectacle in the Black Sea resort of Sochi even if commentators revived criticism of the build-up to the Games, including Russia's gay rights record and the unprecedented $50 billion cost of staging the sporting event.

Putin on Friday welcomed more than 40 other heads of state and leaders for the ceremony, including U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and embattled Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

Some 3,500 fireworks weighing a total 22.5 tonnes were set off in the course of the ceremony which involved some 3,000 performers and 2,000 volunteers.

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