Britain Says U.S. Doesn't Object to Efforts to Engage Hizbullah

[Los Angeles Times] Ziad Haidar and Borzou Daragahi - The Obama administration is "comfortable" with the British government's attempts to engage Hizbullah, Bill Rammell, Britain's minister of state for foreign and Commonwealth affairs, said last week in Damascus. "The feedback we had on Lebanon is that the Americans are comfortable with us doing things differently than they are," he said. Senior U.S. officials have publicly rejected the British decision. "Our position on Hizbullah remains unchanged," Jeffrey Feltman, the U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for Near East affairs, told lawmakers last month. "We see no distinction between the leadership and funding of the group's terrorist, military, political and social wings." In a meeting last week with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem, Rammell also said London was ready to engage with Hamas if it renounced violence. "I would like to talk to Hamas, but we need change before engaging in that position," he said. He added that Hizbullah must also reject violence before any dialogue could broaden.

2009-04-06 06:00:00

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