Maronite head sees meddling in Beirut

May 21, 2010 at 1:57 PM
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BEIRUT, Lebanon, May 21 (UPI) -- Syria still has some ambitions in Lebanon despite a growing thaw in bilateral relations, the leader of the Maronite Church said in Lebanon.

Nasrallah Sfeir, the patriarch of the Maronite Church in Lebanon, told a delegation of French nationals that Iran and Syria were interfering in Lebanese affairs, Lebanon's Daily Star newspaper reports.

"We are passing through a very difficult situation," he said. "Syria and Iran are meddling in Lebanese affairs, but at the end, we will try our best to solve this problem."

Sfeir in February warned that the possibility for war exists as long as Hezbollah has a role in Lebanese affairs. Iran is widely believed to be a supporter of Hezbollah, while Syria was accused recently of transferring long-range missiles to the Shiite resistance movement in Lebanon.

Syrian and Lebanese affairs are strained from the Syrian dominance in Lebanon during the civil war from 1975 to 1990. Both sides, however, exchanged ambassadors in recent years in a sign of warming relations.

Despite the trends in bilateral ties, Sfeir said that Syria "still has some ambitions in Lebanon," the Daily Star quoted him as saying.

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