Mansour from Geneva: Terrorism, not Hizbullah, Cause of Syria's Turmoil
Caretaker Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour stressed on Wednesday that Hizbullah's interference in Syria is not the problem, pointing out that the region's upheaval is cause by the presence of terrorist ideologies.
"Those claiming that what is happening in Syria is a result of Hizbullah's involvement in the war want to divert attention from the fact that there are foreign terrorist groups in the region,” Mansour said during his participation at the Syria peace talks in Switzerland's Geneva.
“The region has become a battle field with terrorists' presence and Lebanon was not excluded from it,” he added.
Mansour noted that these recent regional challenges affected Lebanon's security.
“And this is clear in the dominance of terrorist and Takfiri ideologies that never had presence before in the region. Lebanon did not survive these destructive ideologies and organizations and a series of explosions targeted more that one area in the country,” the caretaker FM said.
He remarked that by adopting a dissociation police, Lebanon wanted to avoid getting involved in the Syrian conflict.
He elaborated: “We knew interfering in Syrian affairs would drag the country into a dark phase and lead to destruction and chaos in the country. Unfortunately, this is what happened and the world is counting the number of victims and the number of foreign fighters sent to Syria.”
Mansour also talked about the influx of refugees from the neighboring war-torn country.
“Another challenge Lebanon is suffering from is the influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees whose number mounted to a one quarter of the country's population,” he stated, calling on the international community to “become aware of the difficult situation the country is going through.”
“This is a small country that is carrying a huge burden,” he remarked.
He considered that the Geneva summit is a chance to find a solution to the Syrian crisis.
“And we believe that there are no alternatives to it,” he said.
Mansour called for the reconstruction of Syria, explaining that it will protect regional and international peace.
“And we call for this summit to be a path towards national reconciliation and dialogue between different Syrian groups. We are looking forward to Syrian people's wisdom and constructive dialogue will get Syria out of its crisis, which will ensure attaining the much needed peace.”
“Only the Syrian people decide on the future of their country, without any foreign interference,” he insisted.
The the U.N.-led peace talks kicked off on Wednesday morning in the Swiss city of Montreux to try to find a solution to end the Syrian war, with the participation of delegations representing the regime and the opposition in Syria.