Zasypkin: Fears of Syrian Crisis Spillover to Lebanon Haven’t Dissipatedإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Fears that the Syrian crisis could spill over to other countries in the region and mainly Lebanon haven’t dissipated, Russian Ambassador Alexander Zasypkin said Wednesday.
“We have said this on several occasions particularly to Lebanon,” Zasypkin told As Safir daily in an interview.
“Our stance is clear in support of Lebanon’s sovereignty, unity and independence, non-interference in Lebanese affairs and an end to any violation,” he said.
“We call for taking tangible measures to control arms smuggling and the infiltration of fighters,” the ambassador said, adding “we support in this regard the measures that the Lebanese leadership and the Lebanese army have taken.”
Asked if he believed that weapons were being smuggled from Lebanon to Syria, Zasypkin said: “This is a long-lasting and a persistent case and we positively evaluate all the measures that the Lebanese leadership has taken.”
More than 16,500 people have been killed in violence in Syria since the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad erupted in March last year, activists say.
But several clashes in Beirut and the northern city of Tripoli and incidents on the Lebanese-Syrian border were signs that the crisis in the neighboring country was spilling over to Lebanon.
On whether Moscow supports a government change in Lebanon as called for by the March 14 opposition, the ambassador reiterated that a cabinet change is an internal Lebanese issue.
“At the same time we back the current government’s policy of keeping itself at a distance (from the Syrian crisis) given Lebanon’s particular location in the region,” he said.