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Hezbollah reached out to Syrian opposition

April 17, 2012 at 12:54 PM   |   Comments

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MOSCOW, April 17 (UPI) -- Opposition groups in Syria rejected mediation efforts by Shiite resistance movement Hezbollah, the group's secretary-general said.

Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah told WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, during an interview broadcast by Russian television network RT, that his organization called on the Syrian opposition to negotiate with Syrian President Bashar Assad.

"We contacted … the opposition to encourage them and to facilitate the process of dialogue with the regime," the Hezbollah leader said via teleconference. "But they rejected dialogue."

A cease-fire brokered between the Syrian government and former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan called on government and rebel forces to end hostilities April 12.

A small team of U.N. monitors is in Syria to observe the agreement.

Fighting has reported since the deadline, however. Damascus, through its official Syrian Arab News Agency, said "armed terrorist groups" were violating the cease-fire.

Nasrallah, in his interview, said opposition groups in Syria weren't willing to discuss the situation with the Syrian government.

"All it wants is to bring down the regime," he said. "This is a problem."

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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