(photo credit: reuters)
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said on Wednesday that recent speeches by US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu offered a knockout blow to the Arab peace initiative.
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He urged the Arab League to withdraw its initiative for Middle East peace. “What have Obama and Netanyahu left for the Palestinian people, Palestinian Authority and Palestinians factions?” Nasrallah asked in a live speech via video link to a rally celebrating Israel’s withdrawal from south Lebanon in 2000.
“The Palestinians have only resistance to achieve liberation,” Nasrallah said.
For the first time since antigovernment protests began in Syria, Nasrallah urged Syrians to back President Bashar Assad’s regime and called on the Lebanese not to interfere.
Nasrallah, who had praised popular uprisings that overthrew the leaders of Tunisia and Egypt earlier this year, said the fall of the Syrian government would “serve American and Israeli interests” since it would be replaced by a regime “ready to sign any peace, meaning surrender with Israel.”
Nasrallah said he believed Assad was serious about making reforms, in
response to prodemocracy protests that have gripped the country for nine
weeks and which have presented the gravest challenge to Assad’s 11-year
“All indications and information until now still affirm that the
majority of the Syrian people support this regime and have faith in
President Bashar Assad and are betting on his steps towards reforms,”
“I personally believe... based on discussions and directly listening to
President Bashar Assad, that he believes in reforms and is serious and
committed...and is ready to take very big steps towards reforms.”