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  Tuesday, December 6, 2022
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Russia will make every effort to evacuate its citizens in southern Lebanon
Russia will make every effort to evacuate its citizens in southern Lebanon, the Foreign Ministry said Thursday. Lebanon's prime minister has said more than 300 have been killed since Israeli missile and air strikes started over a week ago, and hundreds of thousands have been forced to flee. Israeli casualties from attacks mounted by militant group Hizbollah have been put at 29. "We are concerned about the fate of our compatriots in southern Lebanon, which is isolated from the world, and we will make every effort to help them leave the region safely," the ministry said. The Foreign Ministry and Emergency Situations Ministry had evacuated over 1,300 citizens of Russia and the post-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) to Moscow by Thursday afternoon. The ministry said it planned to evacuate the remaining citizens from Lebanon, including by sea in coordination with France, the United States, Greece, the United Kingdom and other countries. The ministry also said Russia was in favor of a comprehensive resolution of the Middle East crisis. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on the sidelines of the Group of Eight summit in Russia last weekend that the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict was the root cause of the resurgence of violence in the Middle East. "The main cause of developments in Palestinian-administered territories, in southern Lebanon, in Israel, and in adjacent lands is rooted in the unresolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict," the minister said. The situation in the region escalated after Hizbollah opened fire on Israeli facilities and took Israeli servicemen hostage. In response, Israel deployed troops in Lebanon and launched devastating air strikes on the country. On Sunday, the leaders of the eight industrialized nations adopted a statement calling on Hizbollah to release the soldiers and end the shelling of Israeli territory, while also urging Israel to halt its offensive against Hizbollah targets in Lebanon. They suggested the U.N. Security Council should consider an international security and monitoring presence on the Lebanon-Israel border. On Thursday, Russia proposed sending immediate humanitarian aid to Lebanon, the Foreign Ministry said.
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