MOSCOW, June 8 (RIA Novosti) - Russia welcomed the results of Sunday's parliamentary elections in Lebanon, the Foreign Ministry said on Monday.
"Moscow welcomes the elections. We proceed [from the assumption] that the final results will be received both in Lebanon and beyond it as an expression of the resolve of the Lebanese nation, a new incentive for all Lebanese political forces to continue cooperation in the interests of further stabilizing the situation in the country and strengthening its statehood," spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said.
The West-backed "March 14" coalition won Sunday's parliamentary elections in Lebanon.
Lebanese Interior Minister Ziad Baroud, who also heads the election commission, said Monday the coalition, led by Saad al-Hariri, the son of ex-premier Rafik Hariri killed in 2005, won 71 seats out of 128, against 57 seats won by the opposition, with Hezbollah retaining 11 deputy mandates.
The previous parliament had a 70/58 ratio.
Nesterenko also said Moscow is ready to "continue interaction with the authorities of the Lebanese Republic and all leading Lebanese political forces in the interest of developing bilateral Russian-Lebanese relations, strengthening political independence, unity and stability for Lebanon, as well as achieving peace in the Middle East."
According to observers, one of the reasons for the opposition's failure was a fear among Lebanese, first of all Christians, that a Hezbollah victory could make Lebanon an Islamic state like Iran and increase the threat of a new confrontation with Israel.