BEIRUT: Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt headed to Moscow Wednesday for talks with Russian officials, a PSP source told The Daily Star.
Media reports said the talks would focus on regional developments, particularly the unrest in Syria.
They said Jumblatt’s visit came in response to an official invitation where he will meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
A source at Beirut airport said Jumblatt left on board a private plane after midday.
The PSP source would not give details.
Jumblatt and Russia have different views on the Syria crisis.
Although Jumblatt was once an ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad and his late father, President Hafez Assad, he has supported the opposition against the Syrian regime and pressed the Druze in Syria to join the uprising against Assad.
But Syria’s Druze, concentrated in southern Swaida and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, have been reluctant to do so.
Members of other minorities have also been unwilling to join the rebellion against the regime for fear that a post-Assad Syria may be dominated by Islamist extremists.
Russia has blocked three Western-backed U.N. Security Council resolutions aimed at putting pressure on Assad and has warned against Assad’s ouster from power.
Moscow has said that it will evacuate its citizens from Syria if need be.
More than 60,000 people have so far been killed in the uprising which broke out March 2011.
Permanent U.N. Security Council member Russia said in a Foreign Ministry statement Tuesday that an effort by dozens of countries to refer the Syrian crisis to the International Criminal Court was "ill-timed and counterproductive.”
More than 50 countries asked the Security Council on Monday to refer the Syria crisis to court.
The international court prosecutes people for genocide and war crimes.