Lebanon, Syria warns of regional war by Israeli attack

09:16, June 01, 2010      

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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri said Monday that Israel's attack on a flotilla of aid bound for Gaza threatens to ignite a war in the region.

The two sides made a joint statement after Hariri's pre-planned visit to Damascus on Monday, saying that they strongly condemn the heinous crime committed by Israel through the brutal attack on unarmed civilians on board of the Freedom Flotilla carrying relief supplies and humanitarian aid to the besieged Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.

The statement warned that Israeli violations of basic humanitarian norms and international laws threaten to plunge the Middle East into a war which will not only affect the region.

Talks between Assad and Hariri tackled the growing development of the bilateral relations and the high-level coordination between the two countries. Assad asserted Syria's support for Lebanon against the continuous Israeli threats.

Israel's navy on Monday morning attacked the flotilla, made up of six boats carrying some 700 pro-Palestinian activists and 10, 000 tons of humanitarian aid bound for the blockaded Gaza Strip with 19 civilians dead.

Later, Hariri had a phone conversation on Monday with the Turkish President Abdullah Gul, to whom he presented his condolences for the Turkish martyrs killed on the Freedom Flotilla.

Hariri expressed his strong condemnation of this aggression, stressing Lebanon's solidarity with Turkey over the painful event. Hariri also told Gul that Lebanon, which currently chairs the Security Council, called for an urgent meeting of the Council to discuss this aggression. For the same purpose, Hariri called Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in anticipation of the United Nations Security Council meeting expected in this regard.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Lebanese, Palestinians and followers of the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah demonstrated in front the UN headquarters in Downtown Beirut and other areas around the country, carrying banner saying "This is a crime against humanity" and some other anti-Israeli slogans.

Source: Xinhua


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