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6 Dec, 2006 07:10

Russian soldiers help rebuild destroyed infrastructure in Lebanon

Russian soldiers help rebuild destroyed infrastructure in Lebanon

As tension runs high in Lebanon and demonstrations gain strength in the country's capital, Russian army builders are completing reconstruction of destroyed bridges 18 kilometres from Beirut.

Lebanon's military leader General Michel Suleiman has warned that demonstrations in the country's capital could soon spin out of control as thousands of people protest on the streets of Beirut. 

But the country’s Prime Minister, Fouad Siniora, is refusing to give in to demonstrators’ demands to resign. The international community is becoming increasingly concerned about the situation in Beirut.  

France and Germany have recently issued a joint statement in which they urge for outside players to stop interfering in the domestic affairs of Lebanon. On Sunday, Syria gave its explicit support for the anti-government demonstrators, while other countries back prime minister Fouad Siniora’s government. The question is how this support will translate in real action on the ground.  

Meanwhile, despite the looming threat of violence in Beirut, Russian army builders are completing their friendly mission to rebuild destroyed bridges. The last of 8 bridges built by Russian soldiers will be opened on Wednesday. The bridge in Damur will carry traffic along the Beirut-Saida highway which was destroyed in the summer conflict between Israel and Hezbollah. 

A ceremony in honour of the event will be attended by representatives from the Lebanese government and the military command, as well as the Russian ambassador to Lebanon.  

In the afternoon, after the farewell meeting, Russia will begin to fly the 300 hundred servicemen home.