Russian Official Returns To Beirut from Damascus To Discuss Israeli Prisoners
A senior Russian foreign ministry official will return here later Wednesday from Damascus for more talks with Hezbollah over a swap of Israeli soldiers for Lebanese detained in Israel, a Russian diplomat told AFP.
Alexander Sultanov, head of the Middle East and North Africa department at the foreign ministry, was due to arrive here from neighboring Syria, where he had accompanied Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov.
Sultanov, who remained in Damascus since Monday, when Ivanov traveled on to Israel, was expected to meet here with officials from the Lebanese Shiite fundamentalist group Hezbollah.
On Monday, in Beirut on his way to Damascus, Sultanov already met with Hezbollah chief Sheikh Nasrallah over the possible swap.
Hezbollah guerrillas captured three Israeli soldiers during a commando operation in the Shebaa Farms, a mountainous region at the Lebanese-Syrian borders occupied by Israel since 1967.
Nasrallah has offered to exchange the captured soldiers in return for Lebanese and other Arab prisoners in Israel – (AFP)
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