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."

 

Trump seeks Israeli-Palestinian peace, lashes out at Iran again

Iran’s reformists sweep to power across major cities

Turkey's alleged coup ringleaders stand trial

Israel makes concessions to Palestinians 'at Trump's request'

Ivanka hales Saudi progress on women’s rights

Istanbul demolishes nightclub targeted in New Year attack

WHO says 315 cholera deaths in Yemen in under one month

Tunisia police use tear gas on protesters

Palestinians protest for hunger-striking prisoners

Palestinians protest for hunger-striking prisoners

GCC and Arab League call for Yemen unity

Looming showdown between Egypt’s president, judges

Netanyahu says will discuss peace efforts with Trump

Bahrain sentences Shiite cleric to suspended jail term

Trump scandals no issue for Saudi says minister

Saudi women celebrate easing of guardianship system, call for more freedoms

Hamas sentences three to death for commander assassination

Rouhani faces fight with hardliners in US, Iran after election win

Trump to urge Muslim leaders to fight extremism in major speech

Trump tells Sisi he will soon visit Egypt

US, Saudi agree arms deals worth almost $110 billion

Iran's Rouhani wins re-election

Egypt marks MS804 crash with ceremony and no information

Trump lands in Riyadh on first foreign tour

IS bombing kills 35 in Iraq

US Pentagon plans to 'annihilate' IS

Dictator's nephew apologises to Tunisia for corruption

Trump heads to Saudi Arabia as domestic scandals mount

Ebrahim Raisi: hardline challenger in Iran

US and Saudi Arabia blacklist Hezbollah 'terrorist'

UN envoy slams deadly attack in Libya's south

Syria, allies condemn attack by US-led coalition

Iranians vote to choose their president

Festive mood as Iranians flock to polls

Turkey takes aim at opposition journalists in continuing crackdown

Syria talks enter final day as tensions simmer over coalition strike

Hassan Rouhani: moderate cleric open to the world

Sweden drops probe against Julian Assange

EU's Juncker, Tusk to meet Turkey's Erdogan Thursday in Brussels

Nearly 23,500 Yemen cholera cases in three weeks

Israel arrests 2 after deadly West Bank clash

Sudan's Bashir to skip Trump-Muslim summit for 'personal reasons'

Saudi looks to assert regional leadership against Iran

Syrian warring sides agree to new UN process on constitution

US-led warplanes hit Syria pro-regime forces