LebanonMiddle EastSyria

Lebanon’s Defense Minister to Turkish Counterpart: Your Military Presence in Syria Considered “Occupation”

Lebanon’s Defense Minister, Elias Bou Saab, held a number of bilateral meetings with foreign counterparts on the sidelines of the 55th session of the Munich Security Conference (MSC), in which he is currently partaking on behalf of Prime Minister Saad Hariri

In this framework, Bou Saab met today with his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar, with talks centering on the issue of “the safe area to be established in Syria.”

“Any presence other than the Syrian army forces is not welcome and considered an occupation,” said Bou Saab.

In turn, Akar promised Bou Saab “to provide Lebanon with all the Turkish Intelligence information and support linked to disclosing the fate of the kidnapped bishops on the Syrian-Turkish border.”

Bou Saab had earlier conferred with Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Jav ad Zarif, on “bilateral cooperation, especially regarding economic and regional issues, and on developments in Syria,” according to the Iranian Foreign Ministry.

Following the encounter, Bou Saab told the Russian News Agency, Sputnik, that he “sensed an Iranian understanding of the situation in Lebanon.”

“They have no inclination to pressure us in a certain direction that harms the interest of Lebanon and the Lebanese,” he indicated, adding that “this understanding of the situation is very reassuring for the Lebanese.”

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