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4 I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS Passion Islam I March 2009
Britain ready
to talk with
Britain said it was prepared to engage conflict in the country. undergo military training.
in direct contacts with the political wing “We will look to have further Rammell said a delegation of
of the Lebanese group Hezbollah, discussions and our overriding British opposition Conservative
which became part of a national unity objective within that is to press legislators held talks recently with a
government last year. Hezbollah to play a more constructive Lebanese parliamentary committee
Britain has had no official talks with role, particularly to move away from that included one Hezbollah member.
Hezbollah since 2005, and last July violence,” Rammell said. The British ambassador to Lebanon
added its military wing to a blacklist of However, Rammell stressed there was present at that meeting.
designated terrorist groups. would be no such change towards The move could also be significant
“We have reconsidered the Hamas, the Islamist Palestinian because Britain, the United States and
position ... in light of more positive movement, saying: “I don’t think other Western powers are locked in a
developments within Lebanon,” there’s an analogy.” dispute with Iran, Hezbollah’s backer,
Foreign Office Minister Bill Rammell He said Britain would only establish over its nuclear program.
told a parliamentary committee. direct dialogue with Palestinian Hamas The powers accuse Tehran of
“For that reason we have explored once it signed up to internationally seeking to develop nuclear weapons,
establishing contacts.” recognized commitments, he said, while Iran says it only wants nuclear
He said he was referring to the which included recognizing the right of energy.
formation in July last year of a unity Israel to exist and rejecting violence. Lebanon is due to hold
government in which Hezbollah Hezbollah has political and military parliamentary polls in June which are
and its allies in the opposition hold wings and provides social, medical expected to be a tight contest between
effective veto power, as agreed under and reconstruction services. It is anti-Syrian factions and a Hezbollah-
297x210_COMBINED_PASION 14/05/2008 18:16:14
a deal that ended a paralyzing political highly centralized and all members led alliance.
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