Hezbollah may try diplomacy on land matter

June 9, 2008 at 10:33 AM
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BEIRUT, Lebanon, June 9 (UPI) -- Hezbollah leaders reportedly told French President Nicolas Sarkozy the terrorist organization would consider a diplomatic answer to the Shaba Farms dispute.

The indication would be a reversal from the terrorist organization's policy regarding the return of eight miles in the Golan Heights, Haaretz reported Monday.

Discussion of Shaba Farms came up during a meeting between Sarkozy and Lebanese political leaders, including recently elected Lebanese President Gen. Michel Suleiman, during the French president's weekend visit to Lebanon, reported the al-Hayat, an Arabic publication based in London.

Sarkozy indicated he would raise the matter during his visit to Israel in two weeks, encouraging Israel to seek a diplomatic solution to the matter, al-Hayat said.

Sarkozy said Suleiman, a former army commander, had "a great responsibility to drive this national reconciliation forward." Sarkozy is the first Western leader to visit Lebanon since Suleiman took office in May.

"It is essential that all Lebanese political forces display their commitment to dialogue," he said during a luncheon with Suleiman and other Lebanese political leaders.

France would provide military training as part of its economic assistance, Sarkozy said.

On Monday, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband met in Lebanon with Suleiman, pledging British support.

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