Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

A thin line between fact-checking and propaganda in Gaza social media coverage

Read more

DEBATE

Gaza: How to Stop the Spiral? Israel Readies For Ground Offensive (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Gaza: How to Stop the Spiral? Israel Readies For Ground Offensive

Read more

FOCUS

Ireland's missing babies casting light on a dark history...

Read more

WEB NEWS

World Cup 2014: Germany-Brazil inspires the Web

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Boutros-Ghali: 'I wanted to reform the UN'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

57 000 little problems

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

The Sarkozy 'threat'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Budget challenge for India's new government

Read more

  • Hamas rockets reaching deeper into Israel

    Read more

  • French companies will have to accept anonymous CVs

    Read more

  • Ukrainian forces close in on Donetsk

    Read more

  • Germany asks US intelligence station chief to leave country

    Read more

  • Death toll rises in Gaza as militants target Israeli cities

    Read more

  • UN chief Ban Ki-moon appoints new Syria mediator

    Read more

  • Video: Muslims in China confront obstacles to Ramadan fasting

    Read more

  • Tour de France passes WWI Chemin des Dames battlefield

    Read more

  • Senegalese man awarded French visa in gay marriage debate

    Read more

  • Israel steps up airstrikes as diplomacy gets under way

    Read more

  • Argentina beat Netherlands on penalties to reach World Cup final

    Read more

  • Foiled French jihadist ‘targeted Louvre and Eiffel Tower’

    Read more

  • Obama in Texas to urge congressional action on child migrant crisis

    Read more

  • Iraq’s heritage 'in danger' from ISIS militants

    Read more

  • 100 years on, the Tour de France returns to the Western Front

    Read more

Middle east

Hezbollah chief Nasrallah acknowledges election defeat

©

Video by Claire PRYDE

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-06-09

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah says he accepts the results of Lebanon's parliamentary election, in which a pro-Western coalition supported by the United States and Saudi Arabia defeated his Iran- and Syria-backed militant group and its allies.

AFP - Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah on Monday acknowledged his opposition alliance's election defeat and called for the rival camps in divided Lebanon to put the polls behind them in an era of cooperation.
  
"We accept the official results in a sporting spirit," he said in a televised address a day after the election.
  
Nasrallah, appearing graceful in defeat, congratulated his political rivals in a Western-backed parliamentary majority. "I would like to congratulate all those who won, those in the majority and those in the opposition," he said.
  
"We accept the fact that the competition won a majority while the opposition retained its presence in parliament," Nasrallah said.
  
The Western-backed coalition of Sunni, Christian and Druze parties landed 71 seats in the 128-member parliament against 57 for Hezbollah and its Shiite and Christian allies, Interior Minister Ziad Baroud announced earlier.
  
Hezbollah, who is backed by Iran and Syria, fielded 11 candidates in the race, all of whom won seats.
  
Nasrallah, whose allies have been demanding veto rights in any new cabinet, declined to discuss the formation of a new government, saying it "needs consultations with all the members of the opposition."
  
But he said the rival camps must cooperate to build Lebanon.
  
"Let us be honest with one another in order to build our country, develop our country together and end the endemic crises it has faced," the Hezbollah chief said. "We should learn from the past."
  
Nasrallah criticised those who during the electoral campaign suggested that Hezbollah would win thanks to its formidable weapons arsenal, saying it was one of the pre-election "lies."
  
"People voted freely and we did not see these arms at all," Nasrallah said.  "Let us now put the election campaign behind us."
  
Hezbollah's arsenal has been a thorn in the side of the outgoing national unity government and at the centre of a three-year-old national dialogue to define a defence strategy for Lebanon.
  
Israel and Hezbollah waged a devastating war in 2006 that left much of south Lebanon in ruins and killed more than 1,200 people, mainly Lebanese civilians, as well as 160 Israelis, most of them soldiers.
  
The militant group has since refused to disarm despite a post-war UN resolution that calls for all militias in Lebanon to turn in their weapons. It argues that its arsenal is needed to defend the country against Israel.
  
Earlier Monday, senior Hezbollah official Mohamed Raad said the group's weapons were not up for discussion.
  
"The majority must commit not to question our role as a resistance party, the legitimacy of our weapons arsenal and the fact that Israel is an enemy state," Raad, an MP who kept his seat in parliament, told AFP.
  
Nasrallah, whose speech was followed by a brief spurt of celebratory gunfire heard around Beirut, termed the election a "breakthrough," and thanked the army and security forces for having kept the peace.

Date created : 2009-06-09

Comments

COMMENT(S)