Photo: AFP
Changed camps. Jumblatt
Photo: AFP

Lebanese Druze leader: We are part of Syrian-Iranian axis

Recent opponent of Syria-Hezbollah camp takes sharp political turn, says Lebanon should have close ties to Tehran, Damascus in order to maintain national unity; adds no one can disarm Hezbollah

After meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad last month, Lebanon's Druze leader Walid Jumblatt said that his country was "part of the Syrian-Iranian axis."


In an interview published Friday by the French publication L'Orient-Le Jour, Jumblatt said, "We belong to this axis in order to maintain national unity; we shall stay in this axis."


The Druze leader, who lashed out against the Syrian president in the past, called to "solidify a defense strategy instead of discussing Hezbollah's weapons."


Jumblatt added that "No one will be able to force Hezbollah to disarm. Who will do so? The Lebanese army does not have the equipment or necessary means to face Israel, while the Israeli threat remains constant throughout the past decades."


Until recently, Jumblatt was an avid Hezbollah opponents and a member of the anti-Syrian camp. However, in recent months he has taken a sharp political turn, apologized for his remarks on Assad in a televised interview and joined Hezbollah and Syria's political camp in Lebanon.


Hezbollah's leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah was the one who informed Jumblatt that the Syrian president accepted his apology and even agreed to meet with him in Damascus. A statement issued by Hezbollah two weeks ago stated that "Nasrallah informed Jumblatt that the Syrian leadership, which is eager to improve its relations with all factions in Lebanon, is willing to open a new page."


After receiving the positive response from Nasrallah, Jumblatt did not conceal his satisfaction during an interview with Hezbollah's al-Manar network. "The previous page with Syria has already been turned," he declared, "I have many things to discuss with President Assad when I meet with him."


פרסום ראשון: 04.23.10, 13:56
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