"The negotiations are continuing and never stopped, regardless of the internal events. This in the hopes of speeding up the return of the (Lebanese) prisoners," said Sheikh Nabil Kaouk, chief commander on behalf of Hizbullah in southern Lebanon.
Speaking at a rally in the village of al-Khiam on Friday marking eight years since the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the region, Kaouk, the keynote speaker, said joy for Lebanon's sovereignty is incomplete so long as there are prisoners in Israeli jails.
"The issue of the prisoners and detainees is at the top of the resistance's priorities. We will not allow any internal matter or schism to come between the resistance and its priorities, which include the release of the prisoners, the liberation of the Sheba farms and Kfar Shuba, and the defense of our homeland from Israeli aggression," Kaouk said.
He also addressed Hizbullah's armament. "The only things of certainty guaranteeing the release of our prisoners and our sovereignty over the homeland are the weapons of the resistance and its might.
"The resistance has remained in the field of conflict to defend our land, on all its regions and sects. The resistance and its victories are at Lebanon's disposal."
During the event participants released balloons into the air carrying portraits of Lebanese prisoners being held in Israel. Likewise, some of the balloons were adorned with images of Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah.