BEIRUT, Lebanon, Jan. 16 (UPI) — Prime Minister Fouad Siniora has said Lebanon won’t ever sign a peace agreement with Israel. Siniora was quoted Monday as saying in the Beirut daily As-Safir he "truly hopes to die before being obliged to sign one day a peace treaty with Israel." He stressed "Lebanon will not sign any peace agreement with Israel even after the liberation of the Shabaa Farms from Israeli occupation and the release of our prisoners in Israel." Lebanon and Syria say the famrs belong to Lebanon, but Israel and the United Nations say they belong to Syria.

Siniora said, "Lebanon has a truce agreement with Israel which we will revive until a just peace process in the region materializes under which the Golan Heights are returned to Syria and a Palestinian state is set up on Palestinian territory." Siniora criticized local and regional parties for doubting Lebanon’s commitment to Arab causes. "No one has the right to doubt Lebanon because it is the only state which fought and is still fighting Israel for more than 35 years during which the Lebanese people suffered more than any other Arab country could bear," Siniora said.

He defended Hezbollah’s armed tactics against Israel, saying his government, which is now being boycotted by Shiite ministers, did not stop defending the organization at international platforms and in meetings with U.S. and European officials.

On relations with Syria, Siniora said Syrian proposals to ease tension were relayed to the Lebanese government through Saudi officials, "but we saw that they did not serve Lebanon’s interest and sovereignty, especially the clause on a joint security committee between the two countries."

Lebanon rejected the clause on the ground it would give Syria a say on Lebanese security.

Siniora rejected accusations his government is pro-American and yielding to U.S. influence, saying "this is shameful talk… We are seeking the country’s interest and try to take advantage of our international relations in that regard."