Lebanon's influential Druze leader Walid Jumblatt said Thursday he has turned a page on past enmity with former arch-foe Syria for good.
"It was not that easy... but the past is over," Jumblatt told a news conference at his Beirut residence a day after talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus.
"We were able to overcome certain parts of the past and get straight to the subjects that will lead to the stability of Lebanon," Jumblatt said.
"We agreed on the importance of supporting the (Syrian-backed Hezbollah) resistance."
The Damascus visit was Jumblatt's first since the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri in a massive Beirut seafront bombing in 2005.
The Druze leader at the time accused Syria of the killing, branding Assad "the dictator of Damascus... a savage... an Israeli product, a liar... and a criminal."
Once Lebanon's main powerbroker, Syria has consistently denied involvement in the murder but pulled its troops out of Lebanon in April 2005, ending a deployment of almost three decades.
Jumblatt had also previously blamed Syria for the assassination of his father Kamal Jumblatt in 1977.
But he backtracked earlier this month, telling Al-Jazeera television his attack on Assad was "unworthy and unusual, unsuited to the ethics of politics even during a quarrel."
The 60-year-old began to show signs of a political about-face following a general election last June, when he defected from an alliance led by Hariri's son, Prime Minister Saad Hariri, to reconcile with the rival Hezbollah camp.
Since then, he has repeatedly stated his desire to "open a new page" with Damascus and Hezbollah has played a mediating role in the rapprochement in recent weeks.
"This strengthens Lebanon's position in the face of Israeli aggression," given Syria's support for anti-Israeli militants, Hezbollah spokesman Ibrahim Moussaoui told AFP.