Druse leader urges Hezbollah distance from Syria

Lebanese Druse leader Jumblatt says Hezbollah should not be "completely attached" to Syria, denounces Iranian influence.

Lebanon's Druse leader Walid Jumblatt 311 R (photo credit: Mohamed Azakir / Reuters)
Lebanon's Druse leader Walid Jumblatt 311 R
(photo credit: Mohamed Azakir / Reuters)
Lebanese Druse leader Walid Jumblatt warned Hezbollah, a coalition ally with his Progressive Socialist party, to downgrade its ties with Syria and urge President Bashar Assad to reform, the Lebanese Daily Star reported Monday.
“I advise Hezbollah not to be completely attached to the Syrian regime and [Hezbollah] should advise the regime that the best solution lies in the Arab League initiative and for it to abandon security measures,” the Star quoted Jumblatt as telling Al-Majalla magazine over the weekend.
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“[Hezbollah leader] Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah should advise Bashar Assad of the need to implement reforms for a populist, democratic Syria that is open to all political movements,” he added.
Jumblatt went on to denounce the Syrian crackdown, saying, "The regime has made a fatal mistake against citizens in Deraa and it was not resolved and no one was held accountable for the crimes.”
The Druse leader's statements reflect the changing Lebanese political landscape resulting from the uprising in neighboring Syria, which serves as a conduit for Iranian influence in the country. Jumblatt called on Iran to curb its stubborn anti-Israel militancy, saying that the Islamic Republic should not interfere with the Syrian and Lebanese styles of "resistance."
“If the Iranians insist on the principles of resistance in the face of Israel in their own way, they need to know that the Syrian and Lebanese people as well as Arab people are basically resistant. We do not need lessons from anyone.”