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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 09:43 AM
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Brits to "Recognize" Hezbollah
The Guardian reports:

Britain overturned its policy on a key Middle East issue yesterday by agreeing to talk to Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shia movement which fights Israel and is banned as a terrorist organisation by the US.

Bill Rammell, the Foreign Office minister, told MPs the government would authorise "carefully selected" contacts with the political wing of Hezbollah, which is represented in the Lebanese parliament. Other EU countries, including France, already deal with the group.

The move, urged privately by British diplomats for some time, may be partially intended to encourage the US to follow suit as Barack Obama's administration pursues a fresh approach of engagement with parties shunned by George Bush.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/mar/05/uk-set-for-...
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 02:27 PM
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1. US Won't Follow British Lead on Hezbollah Dialogue
VOA, The State Department
03/07/09

Officials here said the Obama administration has no intention of matching the British opening to Hezbollah, which has long been listed by the United States as a terrorist organization.

However the United States is not being publicly critical of the British move, and officials said they will be interested in the results, if any, of the British contacts.

At a news briefing, State Department Deputy Spokesman Gordon Duguid had a mild response to the British move. He said the United States will watch how the Hezbollah dialogue proceeds but that the U.S. position towards the group - and its history of terrorist attacks against Americans - has not changed.

"Our position on Hezbollah is not going to change, until we see changes on the part of Hezbollah. This is the organization, as you will remember, that had killed more Americans than any other terrorist group before 9-11. Our stated position on Hezbollah has been consistent. Other nations will have, from time to time, positions that differ with those of the United States. We will watch in this case and see how this policy from the U.K. proceeds," he said.

The United States maintains relations with the Lebanese government of President Michel Suleiman but does not interact with ministries in the unity cabinet that are controlled by Hezbollah.

http://www.payvand.com/news/09/mar/1082.html
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 03:08 PM
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2. Stupid, pigheaded crap. The Hezbollah of today has nothing to do with what happened decades ago.
If the Lebanese can deal with Hezbollah as part of their government, then it's simply absurd for the U.S. to keep up this stupid "terrorist" label idiocy.

Good for the Brits.

sw
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