Elements in Rome hope fruitful discussion will be prelude for a late December Cairo conference. Some see a chance to open dialogue between Assad and moderate opposition forces wanting peace.
On December 16, SANA quoted Nasrallah saying:
"Whoever thinks that the armed opposition in Syria is capable of resolving things militarily on the ground is mistaken.
Insurgents can't emerge victorious, he added. Western nations lured Al Qaeda and other extremist fighters to Syria. They sent them on a fool's errand.- Advertisement -
"I warned Al-Qaida. The Americans and the European countries and Arab and Islamic countries have set a trap for you in Syria, and opened for you a battlefield so you come from across the world to be killed and to kill each other."
Days earlier, Russia denied one of its senior diplomats said Assad is losing control of his country.
Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov was misquoted. Media scoundrels claimed Moscow believed he was doomed. His real assessment was:
"The fighting will become even more intense, and (Syria) will lose tens of thousands and, perhaps, hundreds of thousands of civilians."
"If such a price for the removal of the president seems acceptable to you, what can we do? We, of course, consider it absolutely unacceptable."