BEIRUT: Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad visited Walid al-Moallem Tuesday afternoon at the Beirut hospital where the Syrian foreign minister is recuperating following heart surgery.
Meqdad arrived at the American University of Beirut Medical Center in a two-car convoy accompanied by another car carrying members of the Lebanese security forces.
Work at the hospital continued as normal, with people entering and exiting freely throughout the visit. Hospital security staff said that Mekdad stayed for approximately one hour.
Multiple medical staff told The Daily Star that they were completely unaware of the high-ranking official’s visit.
Rana Alley, the director of public relations for AUB’s faculty of medicine, told The Daily Star that all security measures for the hospital are coordinated internally. She declined to give further details, saying that the hospital was not releasing any statements at this time.
Mekdad’s visit follows that of Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Ghazanfar Roknabadi, who visited Moallem Sunday.
Moallem underwent successful heart bypass surgery last week. A medical source told The Daily Star Monday the Syrian diplomat was recovering and in good condition.
A report issued earlier this month by the international charity Save the Children said that 60 percent of hospitals and 48 percent of primary health facilities in Syria were damaged or destroyed.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on March 19, 2014, on page 3.