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  Wednesday, February 8, 2023
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Russia received information about Israel pursuing other goals in Lebanon than releasing its hostages from official Lebanese sources
Russia received information about Israel pursuing other goals in Lebanon than releasing its hostages from official Lebanese sources, Russia's president said Sunday. "I mean the information that we received from Arab sources, including Lebanon - the Lebanese government," Vladimir Putin told a news conference on the second day of the G8 summit in St. Petersburg. He cited the sources as saying that Israel's missile strikes at Lebanese infrastructure were not directly linked to the search for its abducted soldiers. Putin said no country would ever allow any strikes from its neighbors. In a statement, the G8 leaders said, "The root cause of the problems in the region is the absence of a comprehensive Middle East peace," a joint statement said. "The immediate crisis results from efforts by extremist forces to destabilize the region and to frustrate the aspirations of the Palestinian, Israeli and Lebanese people for democracy and peace," the document said. "In Gaza, elements of Hamas launched rocket attacks against Israeli territory and abducted an Israeli soldier. In Lebanon, Hizbollah, in violation of the Blue Line, attacked Israel from Lebanese territory and killed and captured Israeli soldiers, reversing the positive trends that began with the Syrian withdrawal in 2005, and undermining the democratically elected government of Prime Minister Fuad Siniora." But they also called on Israel to exercise control "We call upon Israel to exercise utmost restraint, seeking to avoid casualties among innocent civilians and damage to civilian infrastructure and to refrain from acts that would destabilize the Lebanese government," the statement said.
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