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Russia denies pressing Hezbollah to withdraw militants from Syria

English.news.cn   2013-04-29 19:07:06            

BEIRUT, April 29 (Xinhua) -- The Russian ambassador in Beirut denied on Monday reports alleging that Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov had pressured Hezbollah to withdraw its fighters from Syria.

"The meetings conducted by Bogdanov with Hezbollah included assessments and analysis of the situation, and no specific demands have been discussed," Alexander Zaspikin was quoted as saying by the An Nahar daily.

As for the possible use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government in its fight against rebels, Zaspikin said such claims "should be carefully verified and the truth should be revealed and not exaggerated."

He meanwhile warned against attempts to "interfere in Syria and escalate the situation" by forming an investigation team to probe the possible use of chemical weapons.

On Sunday, the An Nahar daily quoted sources close to the talks between Bogdanov and Lebanese officials as saying that "Bogdanov conveyed a clear message to the Hezbollah leaders to withdraw its troops from Syria in fear of a spillover of the Syrian unrest to Lebanon, which in turn will aggravate the Syrian crisis and could threaten to destabilize Lebanon as well."

During his three-day visit to Lebanon, Bogdanov held two meetings with Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah to discuss "the general developments particularly in Lebanon and Syria," according to a statement by Hezbollah.

Editor: Chen Zhi
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