Tags: France | Israel | rein | Hezbollah

Hezbollah to France: Rein in Israel

Tuesday, 16 Feb 2010 11:37 AM

BEIRUT — Hezbollah on Tuesday urged France to "rein in Israeli aggressiveness" amid heightened concern in Beirut over recent Israeli warnings to the Shiite militant movement and its backer Syria.

"We ask that France take a firm stand and work with the international community to rein in Israeli aggressiveness," a press release said.

"Israeli policies are behind all regional tensions and Lebanon maintains its right to armed defence against any possible Israeli attacks," the party said.

The statement came after a Hezbollah MPs and international relations official Ammar Moussawi met with Gerard Larcher, the visiting president of the French senate, or upper house of parliament.

On Monday, parliament speaker Nabih Berri, an ally of Hezbollah, also asked Larcher for his country take a "firm stand" to stop Israel from attacking Lebanon.

Israeli officials have warned repeatedly that any attack by Hezbollah will spark a tough response, and have been locked in a war of words with Syrian leaders as well.

Prime Minister Saad Hariri described Israeli threats and military activity as "escalating" and "really dangerous" in an interview with the BBC.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has also said Damascus would back "the government and people of Lebanon against any possible Israeli aggression launched on Lebanon."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has since sought to ease tensions, saying his country wants peace with all its neighbours.

But earlier this month, Netanyahu accused Beirut of allowing Hezbollah to smuggle weapons into Lebanon in "blatant violation" of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which led to ending a 2006 war between Israel and the Shiite group.

Hezbollah has not yet responded to the warnings, but party leader Hassan Nasrallah is expected to address the issue in a speech on Tuesday evening.

The speech marks the second annual commemoration of the murder of the party's military commander Imad Mughnieh, who was wanted by Interpol and the United States.

Hezbollah has accused Israel of the Damascus bombing that killed Mughnieh and vowed to avenge his death.

Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved

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BEIRUT — Hezbollah on Tuesday urged France to "rein in Israeli aggressiveness" amid heightened concern in Beirut over recent Israeli warnings to the Shiite militant movement and its backer Syria.
France,Israel,rein,Hezbollah
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2010-37-16
 
 

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