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Hezbollah Again Postpones General Congress

Hezbollah's decision to again delay its general congress may be linked in part to regional developments, including Bahrain and Syria, writes an Al-Monitor correspondent in Beirut.
Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah (2nd R), escorted by his bodyguards, greets his supporters at an anti-U.S. protest in Beirut's southern suburbs September 17, 2012. Nasrallah made a rare public appearance on Monday to address tens of thousands of marchers protesting against a film made in the United States that mocks the Prophet Mohammad. Nasrallah has been living in hiding to avoid assassination since Hezbollah fought a month-long war with Israel in 2006. REUTERS/Sharif Karim (LEBANON - T
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Hezbollah was supposed to hold its general congress at the end of last year, but it was postponed until this spring, and then postponed again to next September. The main reason for these repeated delays is the situation in Syria, and Hezbollah is inclined to set its priorities in accordance with these developments. It goes without saying that Hezbollah is strategically affected by the situation in Syria. The group is linked to the Syrian regime through a strategic partnership, as part of the Iranian-led "axis of resistance" in the Middle East.

Hezbollah, given its preoccupation with monitoring the events in Syria, was forced to postpone the congress until later this summer. If Hezbollah had held this congress — which would be the party's 10th annual congress — according to schedule, it would have been a special occasion, given that the date coincided with the 30th anniversary of the party's birth. In fact, there are two different dates marking the birth of Hezbollah. The first is the date that the formation of the party was announced. This occurred on Feb. 16, 1984, when the party's spokesman at the time, Ibrahim al-Amin, announced the party's political charter in a message titled "The Open Letter." In this document, the party responded to the question, "Who are we?" The second date that could be considered the "birth of the party" is when the group launched its covert resistance mission against the Israeli occupation in many areas throughout Lebanon in 1982.

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