Bogdanov Reportedly Calls on Aoun to Give up Candidacy

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov has repeatedly said that Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun should give up his candidacy for the presidency to resolve Lebanon's political crisis.

Lebanon's Ambassador to Moscow, Shawqi Bou Nassar, has said in a report that Bogdanov was in favor for Aoun to “pave way for other candidates and allow other Christian personalities to announce their candidacies.”

The details of the report were published in al-Akhbar newspaper on Friday.

Aoun should also make an initiative with his allies to guarantee a quorum in the parliament to elect a president, Bogdanov reportedly said.

He stressed that Moscow stands at an equal distance from all political parties in Lebanon and has good ties with all the candidates.

But Russia wants the election of a consensual president as soon as possible, said the report.

The country's top Christian post has been vacant since President Michel Suleiman's six-year tenure ended in May last year.

The MPs of Aoun's Change and Reform bloc and Hizbullah have been boycotting parliamentary sessions aimed at electing a president.

According to Bou Nassar's report, Bogdanov informed deputy Iranian Foreign Minister Hussein Amir Abdul Lahyan during a meeting they held in May that Russian President Vladimir Putin calls for the facilitation of the election of a president.

“Holding onto the candidacy of Aoun is ineffective. It would prolong the vacuum in the presidency,” the Russian official told Abdul Lahyan.

“Such a move would reflect negatively on the stability of Lebanon and the interests of Christians,” he warned.



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