BEIRUT: Hezbollah deputy Secretary-General Naim Qassem Sunday said his group would not allow Lebanon to be used as a platform against other Arab states and praised the government for having achieved political stability and security. “We will not allow Lebanon to be used as a platform to attack others or a conduit for settling political scores in order to execute Israeli and American projects,” Qassem said in speech in Ghobeiri, south Lebanon. “A salute to the Lebanese Army protecting the Lebanese borders, especially in the northern areas, so that Lebanon does not become a thorn in Syria’s side,” he added. Lebanon has adopted a policy of disassociating itself from events in Syria over fears that any other course of action could affect the country adversely. Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah has warned that Lebanon would be the first country to be affected by the crisis in Syria, in which the U.N. estimates over 5,400 Syrians have been killed, mostly civilians.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on February 13, 2012, on page 2.