Hezbollah says Syria vote means foes can't demand Assad quit

BEIRUT Fri Jun 6, 2014 1:36pm EDT

Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah addresses his supporters during a religious procession to mark Ashura in Beirut's suburbs November 14, 2013. REUTERS/Khalil Hassan

Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah addresses his supporters during a religious procession to mark Ashura in Beirut's suburbs November 14, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Khalil Hassan

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BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's landslide election victory means that his civil war foes can no longer call for his departure as a precondition for peace, Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said on Friday.

The leader of the Lebanese group that has sent fighters to back the president, described the vote as a victory for Syria. Assad's foes called the election a charade.

"This election tells the opposition and all regional countries and the world that any political solution in Syria begins and ends with President Bashar al-Assad," Nasrallah told supporters via a video link.

"You can no longer put the resignation of the president as a pre-condition."

Assad is struggling to end a more than three-year revolt which started as peaceful anti-government demonstrations that descended into civil war.

Assad's opponents say his resignation is a precondition for any future peace agreement.

(Reporting by Laila Bassam; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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