Assad: Syria Will Not Recognize Israel

Ad Feedback - DAMASCUS - In an interview on Hezbollah's al-Manar satellite television, Syrian President Bashar Assad said his country would not recognize Israel until a peace deal is reached.

Assad repeated his ultimatum in an interview on France2.

"It is impossible for recognition [of Israel] to occur before a peace accord," Assad said, adding that democracy is not important to Syria.

Assad also restated his commitment to stand with Hezbollah, while the group's spiritual leader and general secretary Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah continued his usual rhetoric.

"Hezbollah is still at war with Israel," Nasrallah said Thursday, adding that even if Israel withdrew from Shaba Farms (Mt. Dov), Hezbollah will continue to oppose the Jewish state.

"We are not using Shaba Farms as an excuse to bear weapons," he said. "If the area is freed, the weapons will remain because we are talking about a defensive strategy against a threatening country such as Israel," he said.

"My hostility toward Israel is the greatest possible hostility," he said

Nasrallah's threats follow on the heels of renewed diplomatic relations between Lebanon and Syria, announced during a recent meeting in Damascus between Lebanese President Michel Suleiman and Assad.

Sources: YNet news, The Jerusalem Post

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