Lebanese PM: We Stand United with Hezbollah

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BEIRUT - Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri said he stands united with the Hezbollah terror organization, which joined his coalition last November.

"I think they're betting that there might be some division in Lebanon if there is war against us," Hariri told BBC news.

"Well, there won't be a division in Lebanon. We will stand against Israel. We will stand with our own people," he said.

Hariri accused Israel of "escalating threats," especially in daily flyovers of Lebanese airspace, which he claimed have been increasing in the past two months.

In response to Hariri's remarks, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told Army Radio, "Hezbollah murdered his father and he is in a position of being a hostage."

Hariri's father, Rafik, who served as Lebanon's prime minister from 1992 - 1998 and against from 2000 to 2004, was killed by a massive roadside bomb detonated against his motorcade in Beirut in February 2005.

While an international tribunal investigating the incident found evidence of Hezbollah's involvement, many Lebanese believe Syria masterminded the bombing. Both Hezbollah and Syria denied any connection with the assassination.

Following his election in June 2009, Hariri was unable to form a coalition until he agreed with Hezbollah's terms to form a unity government.

"Participants at the talks have agreed to forge ahead with the formation of the national unity government in accordance with the regulations that were agreed upon during the negotiations that had been conducted," said Hezbollah spiritual leader and general secretary Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah last November.

At the time, Lebanese media reported that Iranian approval clinched Hezbollah's admission to Hariri's cabinet.

Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashar Assad vowed to stand with Lebanon in the event of war with Israel.

"Syria will stand alongside the government and people of Lebanon against any possible Israeli aggression launched with Lebanon," Assad told Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri on Sunday, according to SANA, Syria's state-controlled news agency.

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