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Arslan in Syria says Druze sheikhs support Assad
Lebanese Democratic Party leader Talal Arslan. (File/AP)
Lebanese Democratic Party leader Talal Arslan. (File/AP)
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BEIRUT: Lebanese Democratic Party leader Talal Arslan and Syria’s top religious Druze leaders have reiterated support for Syrian President Bashar Assad during a meeting in the Syrian province of Suwayda.

A statement released by Arslan’s office Thursday did not mention when the meeting took place in the predominantly-Druze province of Suwayda in southern Syria.

It said Arslan, accompanied by Druze Sheikh Nasreddine al-Gharib from Lebanon as well as a delegation from Mount Lebanon including mayors, met with the Druze spiritual head in Syria Sheikh Hikmat al-Hajri, top Syrian Druze sheikhs Hammoud al-Hennawi and Youssef al-Jarbou in addition to notables from Jabal al-Arab in Suwayda.

A six-point manifesto issued at the end of the meeting declared renewed support for Assad.

It called for “rallying behind the wise leadership of President Bashar Assad and the Syrian Arab army struggling against conspiracies aimed at destroying Syria from the inside ... for the benefit of [Israel] and its cheap tools.”

The document also dubbed the war a “fateful battle” waged by Assad against “conspiracies to spark sectarian strife to eliminate the Arab national presence.”

It said, however, the best way to end the bloodshed is through a political solution that would facilitate national dialogue among Syrians.

Finally, the manifesto asserted that the Palestinian issue represents the focal point of the Arab-Israeli conflict and that the liberation of the Golan Heights is a “sacred, national and religious duty.”

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