Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah made another televised appearance via video link to deliver this time a speech that marks 40 days after Ashura, the event which is commemorated by the Shiite Muslims as a day of mourning for the martyrdom of Hussein ibn Ali, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad at the Battle of Karbala.
Nasrallah , a key ally of the embattled Syrian regime warned about “schemes of division and partition along sectarian and ethnic lines ” in-war torn Syria and the entire region.
“We hereby underscore our rejection of any plan for partitioning or dividing any Arab or Islamic country in the entire middle east region.” He said and added
“We hereby confirm our commitment to the unity of Lebanon as a people, a nation and institutions,” adding “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.” He said
“We in Lebanon and in the region are living through one of the most important and dangerous phases, an atmosphere of strife.” He added
Nasrallah blamed the Western , Arab and neighboring governments ( Qatar and Saudi Arabia and Turkey) who have recognised the armed opposition for the flood of Syrian refugees into Lebanon, who 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 accusing Qatar and Saudi Arabia and Turkey of fueling the uprising in Syria
“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” He added
Lebanese hostages in Syria
Nasrallah called on the government to dispatch a representative to Turkey to open direct negotiations with the kidnappers of Lebanese hostages held in Syria.
“Right now we are speaking with the Turks and this will not yield the same results,” he said.
Nasrallah sided with the relatives of the hostages in their demands for the release of their loved ones and accused the government of not doing enough on this issue
” We think that the government is not doing enough”, Hezbollah who is considered the godfather of the government said
Turkey has been playing a mediating role between the rebels( that kidnapped the 11 Lebanese Shiite pilgrims last May 22 in the northern province of Aleppo while on their way from Iran) and the Lebanese government Only two of the hostages have been released so far and this was accomplished after several Lebanese leaders travelled to Turkey to ask the Turkish authorities to intervene with the captors.
Nasrallah called for at least a defense strategy to defend the oil and gas wealth adding “We are incapable of reaching a national defense strategy because some sides are placing impossible preconditions on the matter.” A possible reference to March 14 demands that Hezbollah arms should be discussed in any dialogue relating to the national defense strategy and the arms should be under the control of the lebanese army.
He admitted that the Lebanese economy is in a bad shape but pointed out that the oil and gas wealth could change all that in the future .
It could takes several years for the Lebanese economy to benefit from the offshore oil and gas reserves, according to analysts.