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Hariri urges Russia to help prevent Israeli violations of Lebanese sovereignty

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri (L) meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, Russia, on September 12, 2017, (Photo by Lebanon’s National News Agency)

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri has strongly condemned Israel’s recent “dangerous” drone incursion into the Arab country, delivering a warning to the regime through Russia against further violations of Lebanon’s sovereignty.

Speaking in a telephone conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday, Hariri described the recent Israeli attack on Lebanon as a “dangerous act, an attack against Lebanon’s sovereignty and a violation of Resolution 1701, which established calm and stability over the past years.”

He added that Lebanon is counting on Russia’s role to help prevent further escalation and tension, as well as to “send clear messages to Israel that it must stop violating Lebanon’s sovereignty.”

“Hariri stressed that Israel’s attack against a civilian populated area strikes a blow to the stable situation that prevailed on the border since the issuance of Resolution 1701, and threatens to seriously escalate the situation in the region, with unpredictable results,” a statement from Hariri’s office read.

Moscow, in return, “reaffirmed its commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and stability of Lebanon,” in a statement carried by the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The statement added the Russia emphasized the need for respecting international law and United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701, which brokered a ceasefire in the war of aggression Israel launched against Lebanon in the summer of 2006.

On Monday, Hariri called upon the United Nations Security Council to pressure Israel not to initiate any action of aggression against Lebanon.

“If Israel’s aggressions escalate, this will have dangerous repercussions on Lebanon and the whole region,” a statement by Hariri's office said.

Hariri said that the government wants to prevent any escalations, which requires the support of the international community.

His remarks came during a meeting with French, Chinese, US, Russian and British ambassadors to Lebanon.

Separately, Lebanese President Michel Aoun said Israel’s recent drone strikes in Lebanon amounts to “a declaration of war” against the Arab country, vowing that Lebanon will defend its sovereignty against the Israeli aggression.

“What happened was similar to a declaration of war, which allows us to resort to our right to defending our sovereignty,” Aoun’s office quoted him as saying during a meeting with the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon Yan Kubish on Monday.

The Lebanese Resistance Movement, Hezbollah, said Monday that Israel had sent two drones into Lebanon on a bombing mission on the weekend.

According to Hezbollah, the first drone had fallen on a building housing Hezbollah’s media office in Dahieh suburb. The second drone, which appeared to have been sent by Israel to search for the first one, had crashed in an empty plot nearby after being detonated in the air, it added.

Following the drone raids, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s secretary general, vowed in a televised speech that fighters of the movement would counter any further violation of the Lebanese airspace by Israeli drones, warning the Tel Aviv regime to immediately halt such breaches.

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