BEIRUT Hezbollah accused Saudi Arabia and Turkey on Monday of obstructing talks between the Syrian government and opposition aimed at ending five years of conflict.
"What is disrupting any progress towards a political solution is firstly Saudi Arabia, and secondly Turkey," Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah told Al Mayadeen television in an interview.
Hezbollah has sent fighters to Syria to support President Bashar al-Assad. Saudi Arabia and Turkey, which insist Assad must leave power, have been supporting rebels fighting to overthrow him.
Hezbollah is backed by Iran, Saudi Arabia's bitter rival for power in the region. Worsening relations between Riyadh and Tehran have been mirrored by growing hostility between the Lebanese Shi'ite Muslim group and the Sunni Muslim kingdom.
Saudi Arabia said last week it would punish anyone who belongs to Hezbollah, sympathises with it, supports it financially or harbours any of its members.
"Saudi Arabia doesn't want any progress in the negotiations in Geneva," Nasrallah said, adding Riyadh might be holding out until after the U.S. presidential election in November to see whether a new administration might pursue a different policy on Syria. "So I don't expect progress in the political process or a political solution," he said.
The head of the Syrian government delegation to Geneva said on Monday Assad's fate will play no part in the talks, leading the U.N. peace envoy to warn that lack of progress on the issue could threaten a fragile cessation of hostilities.
(Reporting by Dominic Evans and Laila Bassam; Editing by Mark Heinrich)
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Published Date: Mar 22, 2016 03:16 am | Updated Date: Mar 22, 2016 03:16 am