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Report: U.S. ties with Hizbullah ‘developing positively’ as secret dialogue continues

Special to WorldTribune.com

NICOSIA — The United States was again reported to be holding secret talks with the Iranian-sponsored Hizbullah.

A leading Lebanese newspaper asserted that Hizbullah was engaged in a dialogue with high levels of the U.S. government.

[See also: Sources: U.S. has been conducting secret dialogue with Hizbullah]

Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah

Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah

Al Jumhouria newspaper said Hizbullah was in contact with the U.S. intelligence as well as the Defense Department.

“Relations between the Hizbullah and the United States are developing positively,” the newspaper quoted a Lebanese parliamentarian as saying.

On Dec. 13, the newspaper said the U.S. dialogue with Hizbullah included
developments in Lebanon. Another topic in the talks was said to have been
the Hamas movement.

This marked the second report of a U.S. dialogue with Hizbullah. In November, the Kuwaiti daily Al Anba quoted a Lebanese opposition parliamentarian as disclosing the talks.

The U.S. embassy in Beirut has denied the reported dialogue with Hizbullah. The state-owned Lebanese media also discounted the reports.

“Washington will continue to support Lebanon in reaching stability and
security through a just Cabinet and a society respecting sectarian diversity
as well as freedom of expression,” U.S. ambassador to Lebanon, David Hale,
said on Dec. 15.

The report was published as Hizbullah was believed to have been
escalating tension along the Lebanese border with Israel. On late Dec. 15,
an Israeli soldier was killed by a Lebanese sniper who fired from the border
of the two countries. The military identified the sniper as a member of the
Lebanese Army, dominated by Hizbullah in the south of the country.

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