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BEIRUT: The head of Lebanon’s Shia group Hezbollah, a key ally of Syria’s President Bashar Al Assad, yesterday denounced a newly formed Syrian opposition bloc as a US invention whose refusal to negotiate would only lead to more destruction.
“They (the Syrian opposition) met in Doha, locked themselves in a hotel to form a new group and did what (US Secretary of State Hillary) Clinton and America wanted,” Hassan Nasrallah told a Beirut ceremony, speaking by video link.
“But the most dangerous aspect is that the opposition parties decided unanimously in Doha to reject dialogue and a political solution,” Nasrallah said, his speech relayed on a giant screen.
“That is to say, they have chosen the path of destruction. And who will profit from this? Clinton, the United States, Israel and certain regional parties.”
He again called on the Syrian opposition to engage in dialogue with Assad, an appeal already rejected outright by the dissidents who say any talks are conditional on Assad’s departure.
Syria’s disparate opposition groups agreed on Sunday, after four-day marathon talks and reports of pressure, to form a united National Coalition to put forward a credible alternative to Assad’s regime.
The new grouping was recognised yesterday by the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council as the Syrian people’s legitimate representative.
The Syrian revolt has deepened political and religious divisions in Lebanon, which is split between supporters and opponents of the Damascus regime dominated by Alawites, an offshoot of Shia Islam.
Hezbollah, which dominates the government coalition in Beirut, has been accused of sending fighters to fight for Assad’s forces.
But last month, Nasrallah said the party had taken no decision to join the fighting in Syria but that some Lebanese living there had taken up arms to support the regime “in order to defend themselves.”
“The party has nothing to do with their decision, but I cannot tell them not to go fight,” he said.