Bloomberg News

Nasrallah Tells Assange Hezbollah Can Broker Syria Talks

April 17, 2012

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah told Julian Assange, founder of the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, that he’s ready to help broker talks between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his opponents.

“We’ll be more than happy to mediate,” Nasrallah told Assange today in the first series of a new talk show he’s hosting on Russian state-run English-language satellite broadcaster RT, according to an English translation of his comments in Arabic.

Nasrallah said Lebanon-based Hezbollah, a Shiite Muslim militant organization backed by Syria and designated a terrorist group by the U.S. and Israel, had earlier reached out to Syrian opposition groups and its offer to facilitate dialogue with Assad was rejected.

Assange is on bail in the U.K. as he fights extradition to Sweden to face rape claims that his supporters blame on U.S. pressure. He said last week that he expects to be attacked over his choice of television guests and decision to work with Russian state media, and insisted he had been given full editorial independence.

“There’s Julian Assange, enemy combatant traitor, getting into bed with the Kremlin and interviewing terrible radicals from around the world,” Assange told RT of the likely criticism against him. “Those are the people who normally don’t get a voice, the majority of what they have said to me they could not say on a mainstream TV network.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Henry Meyer in Moscow at hmeyer4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net


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