Nasr Allah: Sharm al-Sheikh
summit serves Israel

Nasr Allah told supporters in the eastern city of Baalbek, a Hizb Allah stronghold that the meeting would represent a triumph for Israel.

 

“This summit will improve (Israeli Prime Minister) Ariel Sharon’s image and I congratulate Syria and Lebanon for not participating”, he said.

 

Hizb Allah has resisted US pressure to disarm and to become a strictly political movement.

 

The United States has stepped up pressure on Hizb Allah’s main backers, Syria and Iran, to rein in the group that forced Israel to withdraw from southern Lebanon in May 2000.

 

Since then, it has carried out occasional military operations in the Shebaa Farms area that Israel continues to occupy.

Lebanon and Syria say the area belongs to Lebanon - a stand acknowledged by the UN - while Israel says it is Syrian and its fate is linked to the occupied Syrian Golan Heights.

 

The Sharm al-Sheikh summit, which is scheduled for Tuesday, will bring Bush together with a number of Arab leaders that the United States consider "moderate".

 

The summit will be held a day before the US president's meeting with Sharon and Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas in Jordan’s Red Sea port of Aqaba.

 

The two summits are aimed at pushing forward with the US-sponsored “road map” plan that aims at putting an end to the  Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and the Palestinian Intifada, and the establishment of a Palestinian state by 2005.