First Published: 2012-06-02

 

Nasrallah to kidnappers of Lebanese Shiites: Choose between war and peace

 

Hezbollah leader calls for release of Lebanese Shiite pilgrims held in Syria during ceremony commemorating 23rd anniversary of Khomeini’s death.

 

Middle East Online

‘Leave innocent people aside’

BEIRUT - Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah called for the release of Lebanese Shiite pilgrims held in Syria in a televised speech on Friday.

"The pilgrims should be returned to their families," Nasrallah said, during a ceremony commemorating the 23rd anniversary of the death of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution.

"If your problem is with Hezbollah... or a political party in Lebanon and its position on the events in Syria, leave innocent people aside and solve your problem with us," he said, addressing the kidnappers.

The Shiite militant group Hezbollah is considered Iran's proxy in Lebanon and much of its weapons transit through Syria.

The militant group has steadfastly expressed its support for the regime of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad since the outbreak of the uprising on March 15, 2011.

A previously unknown armed group calling itself the "Syrian Revolutionaries -- Aleppo Province" announced Thursday that it is holding the dozen or so pilgrims who went missing in Syria on May 22.

"The kidnapped Lebanese are being looked after by us and are in good health," the group said in a statement received by Qatar-based satellite news channel Al-Jazeera.

"Negotiations for their release are possible as soon as (Hezbollah leader Hassan) Nasrallah apologises."

Nasrallah had said last week "if this kidnapping is aimed at putting pressure on our political position, it's a waste of time."

On Friday he added, in an address to the kidnappers, "if you have a problem with me, there are many ways to solve it... through war, peace, it is as you wish."

 

Tunisia votes for president in final leg of democratic transition

Barzani in Mount Sinjar after end of jihadist siege

Egypt President removes powerful spy chief

UAE blames 'irresponsible' non-OPEC output for oil price plunge

Turkey TV regulator fines popular show over ‘dance with foreigners’

Coalition targets ‘Islamic State’ in areas north of Aleppo

Libya Islamist-backed government urges foreigners to return to Tripoli

Palestinians enter Egypt as Rafah crossing reopens for two days

Davutoglu accuses EU of 'dirty campaign' against Turkey

Raid on terrorists accidentally kills Saudi youth in Awamiya town

Egypt sentences ‘spy for Israel’ to ten years in prison

Jordan ends eight-year moratorium on death penalty

Turkey acquits sociologist over 1998 explosion

EU foreign affairs head to visit Iraq

Turkey court remands Samanyolu TV chief in custody

IS threatens to kill Lebanese soldiers held hostage

Obama concerned about Egypt mass trials

Tough times for oil-rich GCC

Tumbling oil prices cut budgets of Mideast arms exporters

Iraq’s peshmerga ‘break’ Mount Sinjar siege

Turkish media chiefs charged with terrorism

Iraq may delay payment of Kuwait war reparations

Over $900 million needed to help Syria children

Saudi rules out oil output reduction

Dutch populist lawmaker to be tried for 'fewer Moroccans' vow

Outrage in Algeria over Islamist call for Algerian author's death

Iraq Kurds, coalition launch offensive to retake Sinjar

Three years to end Israeli occupation in UN resolution

Yemen’s Huthis seize Sanaa state offices

Somalia appoints new PM after bitter infighting

Blow to Israel: EU court removes Hamas from terror blacklist

Sharp rise in Syria passport applications

Turkey FM visit to Iran highlights Syria divide

UK troops mistreated Iraq detainees in 2004

Saudi to carry on massive public spending

Iran to Australia: We warned you about the gunman

From bikini to Jihad in Ceuta, Melilla

Tunisia votes Sunday in second round of presidential poll

Islamist militias launch air strike near key Libyan oil terminals

Egypt refers 312 Islamists to military courts

Turkey rejects EU criticism over media arrests

Kerry meets chief Palestinian negotiator

Saudi cleric sparks uproar for showing wife’s face

15,000 march against country’s ‘Islamisation’ in eastern Germany

Key oil producers face uncertain outlook in 2015