In response to the question of the Voice of Russia correspondent about Beirut’s point of view on Russia's role in the Middle East, the Minister noted:
Moscow has always been on the side of the Arab nations and has always defended our interests at the international arena. Russia is capable of many things, and our region pins great hopes on it. In particular, today Russia plays a major role in the solution of the sharp Syrian crisis. This is a truly balanced position, aimed at peaceful resolution of the Syrian political crisis and at promoting reforms inside the country, which will help Syria in its further peaceful development.
During the interview, the Minister dwelled on Lebanon’s attitude towards the events in the neighboring Syria.
From the very beginning of the Syrian crisis, we assumed that the opposition in this country will demand reforms and other changes. But today we see that this is not the same opposition, which we used to see in other countries. In addition, many countries, especially Western countries, try to interfere in the Syrian affairs. If they will continue to impose their will on Syria, the crisis will last indefinitely. Therefore Lebanon has nothing left to do but follow a cautious policy, trying not to interfere in the internal affairs of Syria. At the same time we have always said that the Syrian crisis can be resolved only through negotiations, without the use of weapons. But, unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly evident that a dialogue is very unfavourable for someone. Moreover, some countries openly acknowledge their involvement in hostilities and openly declare «how much they are willing to invest in the armed opposition». Today, our most sincere wish to Syria is a cease-fire.
In your opinion, will Bashar al-Assad’s regime survive?
Bashar al-Assad has his own place, has his own voters, that is, people, who vote for him. It is not the question of whether «he will stay or he will not stay», but it is the question of whether there will be a cease-fire or not, will the parties sit at the negotiating table or not. But so far, the country is trapped in a vicious circle. The Syrian government wants to offer broader reforms, which are very important for the political and economic life of the country, but will these reforms be effective, when shots are heard and blood is shed?
Lebanon became one of the countries where the flow of refugees from Syria poured into. How can you comment on the situation in this sphere?
We understand the problems that ordinary Syrians face these days. But you should understand: Lebanon has very limited abilities. We do everything in our power to help the refugees. We also cooperate with international humanitarian organizations and countries that provide assistance. Now we are able to satisfy all the needs of the refugees, and they are in need of food, clothing and many other things. But, I repeat, our abilities are not infinite.