BEIRUT: Hezbollah is not against receiving and assisting refugees fleeing unrest in neighboring Syria, the party’s deputy secretary-general said Thursday. “We were never against receiving and providing aid to refugees, and we behaved in a positive manner through the Higher Relief Committee, i.e., through Cabinet decisions that did and are helping,” Sheikh Naim Qassem said. “We said repeatedly that we are against the entry of arms from Lebanon to Syria and of armed men to Syria and Lebanon,” Qassem said during a memorial ceremony for a party official in the Beirut southern suburb of Burj al-Barajneh. “We stand by the side of the Syrian people and we support the choices of Syria away from any foreign interference,” the Hezbollah senior official added.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 17, 2012, on page 4.