BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syria supports a deal brokered by a Qatari-led Arab delegation that ended fighting in Lebanon and sees a “real opportunity” for the country, Syria’s foreign minister was quoted as saying on Friday.
Walid al-Moualem told the Lebanese as-Safir newspaper he had called the prime minister of Qatar and the secretary-general of the Arab League to congratulate them on the deal concluded on Thursday.
“We are absolutely with the initiative and we see it as a real opportunity,” Moualem said. “This step could be a real chance to save Lebanon from the dangers that threaten it.”
Syria supports the Hezbollah-led opposition, whose leaders are due to hold talks in Qatar on Friday aiming to end their protracted political standoff with the U.S.- and Saudi-backed governing coalition.
The political conflict turned violent last week when the government took decisions Hezbollah viewed as a declaration of war. The group, also backed by Iran, then routed supporters of the governing coalition in a military campaign.
The government rescinded the moves.
Syria dominated Lebanon until 2005, when the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri triggered international pressure that forced it to withdraw troops from its smaller neighbor.
The governing coalition accuse the Lebanese opposition of working to restore Syrian control.