Speaker Nabih Berri Wednesday criticized requests for Hezbollah and Iran to withdraw from Syria, saying that such a move was not appropriate given the country’s continuous political and security instability.
“Iran is present in Syria at the request of the Syrian government, just as the Russian presence there was requested by the Syrian government,” Berri said during an interview with Sputnik, a Russian news agency.
Defending Hezbollah’s presence in Syria, the Lebanese speaker said that had the Shiite party “not been present there, ISISwould have reached” Lebanon.
Berri ruled out an imminent withdrawal of Hezbollah from Syria, saying that this would happen only once “Syria is liberated and its territories are united.”
Commenting on the Syrian refugee presence in Lebanon, Berri said that there were 1.5 million Syrians in Lebanon, and that the Lebanese “do not consider them to be strangers, as Lebanon and Syria are and will remain twin countries.”
Berri also said that any partition of Syria would amount to “a redrawing of the region’s map, just as the Sykes-Picot Agreement did.”
The Sykes-Picot Agreement was a secret deal struck in 1916 between Great Britain and France, with Russian approval, for the breakup of the Ottoman Empire. The agreement led to the division of Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine into French- and British-administered areas.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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