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Bogdanov: Nasrallah intervened
in Syria to save Damascus

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said that Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah told him that he intervened in Syria to prevent the fall of  Damascus.

 

“Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah told me that the decision to intervene in Syria was made after [rebels] had arrived in Damascus and almost started to celebrate their victory,” Bogdanov told Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Hayat in remarks published on Friday.

 

The conflict in neighboring Syria has increasingly spilled over into Lebanon, with the Damascus regime’s ally Hezbollah dispatching fighters to battle alongside the Syrian army against rebel forces.

 

Bogdanov also stressed the need to quickly transform the conflict in Syria into a political one, adding that “the world has lost one year after the Geneva agreement.”

 

The first Geneva meeting in June last year ended in a broad agreement aimed at forming a transitional government in Syria and introducing a long-lasting truce.

 

But the deal was never implemented because of disagreements over Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's role in the new government, and the lack of commitment by either side to lay down their arms.

 

The Russian deputy FM added that “setting the date for the second Geneva meeting will not be possible before the nature and mechanisms of the Syrian opposition’s participation become clear.”

 

According to media reports, the meeting has been tentatively scheduled for July or August, where the focus will be on ending the 26 months of bloodshed that a Syrian observer group says has claimed more than 90,000 lives.

The world has lost one year after the Geneva agreement.