Assad Hosts Nasrallah, Ahmadinejad for 3-way Meet

Hezbollah chief's visit to Syria reported for first time; not clear if Meshal took part in meeting.

Avi Issacharoff
Jack Khoury
Haaretz Correspondent
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Avi Issacharoff
Jack Khoury
Haaretz Correspondent

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Syrian President Bashar Assad and Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah met in Damascus late Thursday, Hezbollah's Al-Manar television station has reported.

The three held their meeting over dinner at the presidential palace, accompanied by senior advisers from all three sides. This was the first time a Nasrallah visit to Damascus has been reported.

Al-Manar did not report whether Hamas political chief Khaled Meshal, who is based in Damascus, took part in the meeting.

However, the station did say that Ahmadinejad met with a number of top Palestinian officials from at least 10 political movements during his visit. During that meeting, the Iranian president and the Palestinians expressed their desire for cooperation against Israeli "threats, aggressions" and moves regarding Islamic holy sites in Israel.

Meshal told Al-Manar that Ahmadinejad's visit to Damascus was meant as part of a joint effort to contend with "Zionist bragging." According to another Palestinian source, the sides discussed the threat of Israeli attacks on Syria, Lebanon, Palestinians and Iran.

During their meetings, Ahmadinejad emphasized that "resistance is the most successful way to liberate land" and reiterated Iran's vow to stand by Palestinian demands.

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