Hizbollah’s secretary-general, Hassan Nasrallah, strongly defended the presence of Syrian troops on Wednesday, insisting that their stay is very essential at the external and internal levels.
Nasrallah, who was addressing hundreds of thousands of Shiites marking the Ashura religious occasion, said in south Beirut that the Israeli withdrawal from the occupied south zone is a reason for the stay, not the pullback of the Syrians due to the Israeli threats of revenge.
Internally, Nasrallah said, there are people who would take advantage of the Syrian withdrawal to implement their agendas.
Hassan Nasrallah's statement came as the country's Maronite bishops maintained that their call for a Syrian withdrawal had national backing, while Walid Jumblatt said the Hizbollah leader's remarks merely reflected the need for dialogue, said the Daily Star.
"Those asking for Syria to leave only represent themselves," Nasrallah told about 300,000 people who gathered to observe Ashura in Haret Hreik. "We ... along with the majority of Lebanese, have a different view ... We hope this issue is closed until further notice. The Syrian presence ... is a Syrian national duty ... If Syria decides to pull out of Lebanon, we will tell it that it is wrong.”
Nasrallah’s statement echoed remarks by the speaker of the parliament, Nabih Berri, who said earlier this week that although the Syrian influence could be discussed, their presence is out of question.
Berri called for an end to the debate that is taking a sectarian form – Albawaba.com
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