Hezbol­lah says Syr­ian gov­ern­ment ‘will stay on’

The Washington Times Daily - - WORLD -

BEIRUT | The head of the Le­banese mil­i­tant group Hezbol­lah says it is time for po­lit­i­cal lead­ers to ac­cept the sur­vival of Syr­ian Pres­i­dent Bashar As­sad’s gov­ern­ment.

Has­san Nas­ral­lah, ad­dress­ing a rally on Sun­day, ad­vised the Le­banese gov­ern­ment to nor­mal­ize ties with its war-torn neigh­bor.

Le­banon’s po­lit­i­cal par­ties are split over whether to re­store re­la­tions with the pariah Syr­ian leader. Hezbol­lah has in­vested heav­ily in Mr. As­sad’s sur­vival. More than a thou­sand of its fight­ers have died fight­ing along­side gov­ern­ment forces in Syria. Syria oc­cu­pied Le­banon from 1991-2005.

Sec­re­tary of State Rex W. Tiller­son said in July that Wash­ing­ton was pre­pared to de­fer to Rus­sia in Syria. Rus­sia is a key backer of Mr. As­sad’s gov­ern­ment.

Nas­ral­lah

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