Russian Official to Arrive in Lebanon on Congratulatory Visit to Aoun

Lebanese President Michel Aoun, second left, reviews an honor guard at the presidential palace in Baabda, east of Beirut, Lebanon, Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Lebanon's parliament on Monday elected Michel Aoun, an 81-year-old former army commander and strong ally of the militant group Hezbollah, as the country's president, ending a more than two-year vacuum in the top post and a political crisis that brought state institutions perilously close to collapse.. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

A high-level Russian official is expected to visit Lebanon over the next few days to congratulate President Michel Aoun on his election, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Saturday.

A Russian delegation is said to arrive in the next few hours in preparation for the expected visit of the official, added the daily.

The diplomat will also hold talks with Lebanese officials on the latest developments in Lebanon and the region.

On Monday, Aoun was elected head of the Lebanese republic by the majority of 83 parliament votes.

Aoun received key support for his presidential bid from al-Mustaqbal Movement leader Saad Hariri, which ended two and a half years of presidential vacuum.

On Thursday, Hariri was designated to form Lebanon’s new government.

Analysts have warned that Aoun’s election will not be a “magic wand” for Lebanon, which has seen longstanding political divisions exacerbated by the war in neighboring Syria and has struggled to deal with an influx of more than a million Syrian refugees.

In addition to pledges of economic growth and security, Aoun said in his oath of office that Lebanon must work to ensure Syrian refugees “can return quickly” to their country.

Aoun also pledged to endorse an “independent foreign policy” and to protect Lebanon from “the fires burning across the region.”