Hezbollah chief urges French help on Lebanon

13th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

BEIRUT, April 13 (AFP) - Hezbollah chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah called Wednesday on France to help advance internal dialogue in Lebanon and urged it to distance itself from international demands for the disarming of his group.

BEIRUT, April 13 (AFP) - Hezbollah chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah called Wednesday on France to help advance internal dialogue in Lebanon and urged it to distance itself from international demands for the disarming of his group.

"France is being asked to help push forward national dialogue and internal reconciliation in its position as a friend," Nasrallah said in "a letter to France" published in As-Safir newspaper.

"The Lebanese do not like to see France held hostage to the savage and aggressive American hegemony," he said.

Nasrallah said France had bowed to US pressure by backing demands for the disarming of Hezbollah through UN Security Council Resolution 1559 which called for an end to a foreign military presence in Lebanon and the disarming of all militias.

"The first clause of Resolution 1559 calls for the withdrawal of foreign forces from Lebanon, in an implicit reference to the Syrian forces, and this is what I call the French clause of the resolution," he said.

"The second clause calls for the disbanding of Lebanese militias and their disarmament, in an implicit reference to the Lebanese resistance, and this is what I call the American clause of the resolution."

Nasrallah insisted that Hezbollah could not be disarmed "because this would put Lebanon and the Lebanese under the mercy of Israeli fire."

Hezbollah's guerrilla campaign was instrumental in forcing Israel to withdraw its troops from southern Lebanon in 2000 after 22 years of occupation.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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