Hezbollah's Nasrallah Sent Secret Assurances to Israel

Leader told Russians in 2013 to let Israel know 'Lebanon’s southern borders are the safest place in the world,' according to leaked document cited in London report.

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Haaretz
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Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah sent reassurances to Israel last year that Lebanon's southern border is "the safest in the world," according to a leaked Syrian document obtained by Asharq Al-Awsat, the London-based website reported on Wednesday.

The full transcript recorded a meeting between Faisal Mekdad, the Syrian deputy foreign minister, and Mikhail Bogdanov, his Russian counterpart in May 2013, during which the Syrian side conveyed its reassurances to Israel, according to the website.

“You can tell the Israelis that Lebanon’s southern borders are the safest place in the world because all of our attention is focused on what is happening in Syria,” said Nasrallah, confirming that Hezbollah “does not harbor any intention of taking any action against Israel,” Bogdanov reportedly stated.

In the meeting, Sergey Vershinin, the director of the Russian foreign ministry's department for Middle East and North Africa, asked Mekdad, “I will meet with the Israelis during my visit, do you want me to convey any message to the Israeli side?”

According to the report, Mekdad answered: “There are no messages from us to the Israelis, particularly following the attack on Jamraya [a military research center near Damascus] and Damascus International Airport, which despite being destructive, failed to achieve its objectives as there were no Hezbollah weapons there.”

Mekdad allegedly warned, “Our message to them is that we will not be silent in the face of any new attack. If next time they fire a rocket [into Syria], we will respond by firing several rockets [at Israeli targets]."

He reportedly added, “We will not allow them to exploit our situation and we will provide Hezbollah with the sophisticated weapons it needs."

Nasrallah speaking on Jerusalem Day in August 2013.Credit: AP

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