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Russia And Hezbollah To Open Representative Office In Moscow: Report

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Russia And Hezbollah To Open Representative Office In Moscow: Report

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The Russian government and Lebanon’s Hezbollah are reportedly discussing the possibility of the group opening a representative office in Moscow.

This was the result of several high-level meetings held in March 2021.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov received on March 15 a delegation of senior Hezbollah figures led by Mohammad Raad, the head of the Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc — the political wing of Hezbollah — and media reports indicated that the two sides had held “open and friendly” talks.

The visit by the four-member Hezbollah delegation to Russia took place at a time when Lebanon is mired in its worst economic crisis in decades as well as a political stalemate over the formation of a new government.

“The two sides stressed the need to strengthen means of communication between them and to adopt direct channels of communication between the party and Moscow, while studying the possibility of establishing a representative office for the party in the Russian capital,” Lebanon’s al-Akhbar newspaper reported.

This was likely also reinforced by the reality that Hezbollah was present in the Syrian conflict, and its presence was “necessary”.

“Russian officials were keen to deliver a clear message to the Hezbollah leadership: Your presence in Syria is necessary, in politics, as in the military,” al-Akhbar reported. “We count on cooperating with you in the future in both fields.”

Meanwhile, Lebanon is still waiting for a new government to be formed months after caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s cabinet resigned in the wake of a massive explosion at Beirut port on August 4 last year, which ravaged the heart of residential areas and the city’s vibrant commercial district.

Prime minister-designate Saad al-Hariri and President Michel Aoun have been at loggerheads for months over the makeup of a new cabinet.

Diab has threatened that he would stop performing his duties as the caretaker prime minister in a bid to pressure political forces to form a new government as he faced criticism for both being passive and overstepping his caretaker role.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah is organizing various social and economic assistance projects in order to support the Lebanese population and increase its support.

The value of the Lebanese pound has crashed steeply in recent weeks, losing one-third of its value. The plunge has driven up the price of crucial imports like food and fuel, and triggered small but angry protests.

More than half of Lebanon’s population is reportedly poverty-stricken, and much of the six million population depends on subsidies to get by.

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