Hezbollah: Syria vote proves no solution without Assad
Nasrallah called for an end to bloodshed and new negotiations
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's re-election this week proves that any solution to the country's conflict “begins and ends” with the embattled leader, Lebanon's Hezbollah chief said on Friday.
“The elections proved that a political solution in Syria begins and ends with President Bashar al-Assad,” Hassan Nasrallah, a key ally of Assad's regime, said in a televised address.
Assad won a new seven-year term in the country's first multi-candidate presidential vote on June 3, taking nearly 90 percent in an election dismissed by the opposition and its international backers as a “farce.”
The opposition says Assad's departure from office is a condition for any peace agreement, but Nasrallah dismissed that as a possibility.
“There is president who has been elected by millions for a new seven-year term,” he said.
“Those who want to work for a political solution must talk to him, negotiate with him and reach a solution with him.”
Nasrallah, who has sent Hezbollah fighters to Syria to battle alongside Assad's regime, called for an end to bloodshed and new negotiations.
“We call on combatants ... to move towards reconciliation and dialogue, looking for political exits to stop the bloodshed,” he said.
“This fighting will only increase destruction in your country and add to the bloodshed,” he said, addressing the opposition.
“Everyone should recognize and acknowledge that war in Syria will not lead to others taking control of it.”