Zarif: Iran backs Lebanon’s decision on settling presidential crisis

TEHRAN, Oct. 18 (MNA) – In a Sunday meeting with Lebanese Foreign Minister, FM Zarif stressed that Iran fully respects whatever decision Lebanese people would take to bring the country out of its political stalemate. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made the remarks on Sunday in a meeting with his Lebanese counterpart Gebran Bassil in the Iranian capital, Tehran.

Zarif’s remarks refer to the political stalemate in Lebanon which has been without a president since President Suleiman’s term expired in May 2014.

The Iranian minister also touched upon the good relations between Tehran and Beirut, adding “our mutual ties are constantly expanding and we are hoping that the consultations among the two countries’ economic sectors will boost Tehran-Beirut mutual cooperation.”

Elsewhere, Zarif conferred with the Lebanese diplomat on the current situation in Syria, saying “extremism and terrorism have caused great dangers for the Syrian people and the region. The threats of terrorism has forced many Syrian nationals to flee the country and take refuge in Europe; these increasing threats require collective cooperation from all countries across the world.”

For his part, the Lebanese minister shared his view on the impacts and consequences of the Syrian crisis that have led to an increase in immigration to Europe, adding Lebanon too has been gripped by the refugee crisis as a result.

Lebanon has seen a major flow of refugees crossing its borders since the war in Syria erupted. According to Lebanese media, Lebanon as of now is home to approximately 1.6 million Syrian refugees, in addition to roughly 500,000 Palestinian refugees.

FM Bassil added that Lebanon has taken a new approach in evaluating Russia’s anti-terrorist measures in Syria as the future prospect of Lebanon is affected by regional and international developments.

Bassil further expressed hope that following the lifting of sanctions against Iran, the Lebanese trade companies would take huge steps in boosting economic cooperation with Tehran.

By Mehr News Agency