Assad: We will always support Hizbullah
Syrian President Bashar Assad on Thursday defended his country's relationship with Hizbullah, and said that although Israel insists the ties must be severed for peace to materialize, Damascus would continue supporting the Shiite movement. "The party has a cause with the Israeli enemy. And we have the same cause. That's why we support it. At the same time it is a national party that has a religious agenda as part of its nation Lebanon … It is normal that we have a good relationship with it," Assad said in an interview published on Thursday by the Qatari newspaper a-Sharq. "We therefore support the organization."
"We are speaking about a national organization with a religious agenda that acts in the framework of the Lebanese homeland," he said. "We see here a national party. It is therefore natural that we have a relationship with it."
Assad reiterated that his country does not yield to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and stressed readiness to demarcate the border with Lebanon. "We have previously announced that any relationship between the court and the state of Syria should comply with an agreement with Syria," Assad told the Qatari newspaper.
The tribunal will try ex-Premier Rafik Hariri's suspected assassins.
Turning to the Shebaa Farms area, Assad said: "We agree on ownership of territories and demarcate the border and then tell the U.N. what we have agreed on." "We told the Lebanese and the U.N. that Israel should withdraw first," he said in the interview published Thursday. "Why aren't they (the Lebanese) worried about their northern border and are only worried about the Shebaa Farms?"
"We are ready to start demarcation and we will start with all territories and the other borders that require demarcation," Assad stressed.
Assad stated that he sees no difference between the current Israeli cabinet led by Benjamin Netanyahu and those that came before it. "The government which was in charge before this one started a war and committed massacres in Lebanon," he said.
"I think that they're all the same - committed massacres in Palestine and supported the work in Gaza," the Syrian leader continued. "There is no difference between Left and Right. We have our demands and those who are able to satisfy them will not constitute a problem for us."
Regarding the occupied Golan Heights, Assad said: "There is no escape from the an Golan," he said. "Either through peace or through war." "When a citizen loses hope, he turns towards resistance in one form or another," Assad added.