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Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Russian-Lebanese Military Deal to Set the Stage for New Relationship Phase

Russian-Lebanese Military Deal to Set the Stage for New Relationship Phase
Asharq Al-Awsat Wednesday, 7 February, 2018 - 09:00
https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/1167441/russian-lebanese-military-deal-set-stage-new-relationship-phase

The Russian government announced on Tuesday that Moscow was about to
conclude a military cooperation agreement with Lebanon, which provides a
comprehensive framework for coordination and joint activities for military
institutions in both countries.

The Russian government’s website for documents and information, which
usually publishes decrees and official decisions, announced a government
decree granting the Russian Ministry of Defense powers to conduct “the
necessary talks with the competent authorities in the Lebanese Republic to
finalize the agreement.”

The deal will cover the exchange of information on defense and the
strengthening of capabilities in the fields of international security,
cooperation in combating terrorism, training of the armed forces,
information sharing and the establishment of mechanisms for cooperation
between the armies of the two countries in the fields of education,
medicine, scientific analysis, publishing, sports and culture, in addition
to maritime cooperation and joint action against piracy and terrorism.

The initial agreement, as published by the Russian government, provides for
reciprocal visits by military delegations, joint exercises and training, in
addition to allowing the temporary entry of warships and aircraft to the sea
and air ports of the two countries, as part of the cooperation program.

The deal, when signed, will open a new phase of Russian-Lebanese relations.
Moscow had previously provided aid to Lebanon, but bilateral cooperation in
this area had been limited and not regulated under a comprehensive military
cooperation agreement.

On a different note, US Acting Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs
David Satterfield arrived in Beirut on Tuesday for talks on the situation on
the southern border and Block 9, informed political sources told the Central
News Agency.

The sources added that Satterfield would try to convince Lebanese officials
to wait before resorting to the UN Security Council to resolve a dispute
with Israel over oil exploration in that sector.

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