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14 I ORLD NEWSW Passion Islam I July 2009
Hezbollah MP meets British
diplomat for first time
Hezbollah parliamentary leader officer told AFP.
Mohammad Raad met British Lebanon’s outgoing government
ambassador Frances Guy in the first of national unity was to hold its
such contact in Lebanon between last meeting on Thursday before
the Shiite group’s political wing and a parliament is dissolved later this month
senior British official. to make way for the new legislature
“The talks covered the recent elected in a June 7 poll, in which a
election and the situation in the region,” Hezbollah-led alliance, backed by
Hezbollah said in a statement. Iran and Syria, lost the election to a
“I believe the doors are open to Lebanese coalition.
further meetings,” Raad told AFP. The meeting also covered United
In March, Britain authorized low- Nations Security Council Resolution
level contact with the political wing 1701, the press officer said.
of Hezbollah to stress the urgency of Resolution 1701, passed
disbanding militias. unanimously in 2006, ended a
“ Our objective with Hezbollah devastating 34-day war between
remains unchanged: that they reject Israel and Hezbollah. The resolution
violence and play a constructive, demanded the disarmament of
democratic and peaceful role in all armed groups in Lebanon but
Lebanese politics, in line with the
Lebanese politics, in line with the U.N. Hezbollah has retained its arsenal
U.N. Security Council resolutions,”
Security Council resolutions “ insisting it is needed for resistance
she told AFP.
British Foreign Office against Israel.
“We believe that occasional and
spokeswomanLondon has had no A Foreign Office spokeswoman in
carefully considered contact with
official talks with Hezbollah since London said her country would hold
Hezbollah’s politicians, including its
2005, and last July added its military talks with Hezbollah members “who
MPs, will best advance this objective,”
wing to a blacklist of designated terror are legitimately involved in Lebanese
she added.
groups. politics and those who are involved in
“We will be taking a pragmatic
The British embassy confirmed that violence and supporting terrorism.”
approach to speaking to known
the talks had covered local politics. “Our objective with Hezbollah
moderates, political figures who to
“Basically the meeting covered the remains unchanged: that they reject
the best of our knowledge have no
elections and the formation of a new violence and play a constructive,
links with acts of violence.”
government,” an embassy press democratic and peaceful role in
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Morocco’s Marrakech
elects first woman mayor
A 33-year-old lawyer became the more than one million.
first woman to be elected mayor of “Her election reflects the image
Marrakech, one of Morocco’s biggest of a modern Morocco,” said the
cities and a key tourist destination. secretary general of her Party for
Fatima Zahra Mansouri outpolled Authenticity and Modernity (PAM)
veteran outgoing Mayor Omar Sheikh Muhammad Biyadillah.
Jazouli by 54 votes to 35 in Monday’s Following the June 12 local
municipal council vote, becoming the elections, PAM won 43 seats in
second woman to take a mayoral Marrakech second to al-Ittihad al-
position in Morocco after Asmaa Doustouri party, which won 50 seats.
Chaâbi, mayor of Essaouira. PAM, despite ranking second,
“I am honored to lead Marrakech
Mansouri studied law in France,
managed to ally with a number of
city hall,” Mansouri said. “I hope to
and is a daughter of a former
parties and form a majority coalition
be able to measure up to this new
assistant to the local authority chief in
of 62 members to support Mansouri.
challenge.”
Marrakech, which has a population of
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