Nasrallah renews calls for dialogue

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Hezbollah soldiers participate in an annual parade in the southern city of Nabatiyeh on 28 November 2012. (Photo: AFP - Mahmous Zayyat)

Published Sunday, December 16, 2012

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah called for a national working group to address Lebanon’s ongoing political crisis during a televised speech Sunday.

He criticized the opposition for their persistent demands that Hezbollah, which belongs to a coalition that currently heads the government, disarm before engaging in dialogue.

“What are the priorities of these politicians? The weapons of the resistance, and the resistance itself. … Since 2004, it’s been the same talk over and over.”

Lebanon’s March 14 opposition had demanded that the government step down in the wake of an assassination targeting the country’s top intelligence chief in October, but has since gone back on those calls.

“Their (the opposition’s) real goal wasn’t to make them resign,” Nasrallah said. “It was to paralyze the parliament to prevent the adoption of a new voting law – they wanted to keep the 1960’s voting law, or have no law at all.”

Addressing the Syrian conflict, Nasrallah reaffirmed his support for the government and said rumors that it was on the verge of collapse are unsubstantiated.

He added that all efforts to end the bloodshed in Syria should be focused on bringing the different faction to the table for talks.

“All the people that are behind the rebels are all refusing dialogue with the regime,” Nasrallah said. “What does that mean? A continuation of armed fighting … It means more death and destruction.”

In a message directed to al-Qaeda, which is involved in the conflict, Nasrallah warned that their Western and regional backers had “set up a trap so that you would kill each other in Syria.”



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