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Nasrallah: Syria Fighting could Divide Lebanon

Hizbullah head blames the West, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, for the flood of Syrian refugees into Lebanon.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 1/3/2013, 8:31 PM

A campsite in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley
A campsite in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley
AFP/File

Hizbullah head Hassan Nasrallah warned Thursday against “schemes of division and partition along sectarian and ethnic lines” in-war torn Syria and the entire region.

A key ally of the embattled Syrian regime, Nasrallah made a televised appearance via video link and proclaimed: “We hereby underscore our rejection of any plan for partitioning or dividing any Arab or Islamic country in the entire Middle East region.

“We hereby confirm our commitment to the unity of Lebanon as a people, a nation and institutions,” he said, adding that “Lebanon is too small to be divided or partitioned.”

“From Yemen to Iraq to Syria, the region is threatened more than ever by partition, even in Egypt and Libya and Saudi Arabia," Nasrallah told viewers.

According to the Ya Libnan news site, Nasrallah blamed the West, as well as the governments of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, who have recognized the armed opposition to Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad, for the flood of Syrian refugees into Lebanon. These now number more than 170,000, according to the United Nations.

“The people who bear responsibility for the continuation of their displacement are the same ones responsible for the bloodshed that is inhibiting Syrians from reaching a political dialogue or settlement,” he said. “If a military solution continues, there will be a long war,” he warned, calling on the Lebanese government to take a stand.

“Lebanon cannot bear the social, humanitarian and political costs” of inaction, he said in reference to the surging number of Syrian refugees. ” We should acknowledge this humanitarian crisis and work accordingly on dealing with its repercussions.”

Nasrallah called on the government to send an envoy to Turkey to open direct negotiations with the kidnappers of Lebanese hostages held in Syria.

A group of 11 Lebanese Shiite pilgrims were kidnapped on May 22 in the northern province of Aleppo, while on their way from Iran. Only two of them have been released.

Classified secret Syrian official documents obtained by Al Arabiya revealed that Hizbullah has played an active role in the deadly crackdown on civilians and armed opposition in Syria.