Head of the Free Patriotic Movement Gebran Bassil discussed on Thursday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his deputy Mikhail Bogdanov the situation in Lebanon.
Bassil praised the Russian role in Lebanon and the broader region, stressing that Moscow does not interfere in Lebanese internal affairs, but instead pushes for the implementation of much-needed reforms.
"Russia has assumed many roles that are advantageous to us … such as the repatriation of displaced Syrians," he said during a press conference after meeting Lavrov in Moscow.
Bassil underlined the dire need for Lebanon to make radical reforms and to form a government of experts backed by the key political and parliamentary groups.
He stated that he asked Lavrov to hold a conference to encourage the return of the displaced Syrians.
“We also encouraged Russia to engage in the process of Lebanon’s development by contributing to several investment projects," he said.
The FPM hopes that Bassil’s trip to Moscow could dispel rumors that Russia has put blame on him for the delay in the formation of a new government in Lebanon.
Presidential Advisor for Russian Affairs Abu Zeid told Asharq Al-Awsat that during his meetings with Russian officials, Bassil stressed the need to swiftly form a government by asking Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri to work with President Michel Aoun on agreeing on a line-up.
Hariri has not been able to form a cabinet six months after he was chosen for the post amid deep disagreements between him and Aoun.
One of the main points of difference includes Aoun’s rejection of Hariri’s plan to choose some Christian members of the new government.
Bassil is Aoun's son-in-law.