Syrian Minister Refuses to Link Hezbollah with Terrorist Incidents

Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa has denied that the Islamic fundamentalist Hezbollah movement was responsible for last week’s bombing of the community center in Buenos Aires or this week’s car bombings in London.

Sharaa made the denial during a news conference here Wednesday after meeting with French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe.

Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, have blamed Hezbollah for the recent spate of attacks and have accused Syria of not using its influence to halt such attacks.

Saying the bombings could not be linked to any fundamentalist groups based in Lebanon, Sharaa charged that Israelis, not Syrians, were supporters of terror.

“We are not at all happy about what is going on in violence or sabotage and destraction, unlike some Israelis who rejoiced at the massacre in Hebron,” he said, referring to the Feb. 25 killings of 29 Palestinians by an Israeli settler.

“Syria is not for violence, but Israel practices violence in one way or another in the occupied territories and in Lebanon,” he added.

The Syrian minister refused to say whether any progress had been made in the Israeli-Syrian peace negotiations following last week’s visit to the region by U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher.

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