Hezbollah chief met rival Druze majority leader in Beirut
Chief of Lebanese Shiite armed group Hezbollah Hasan Nasrallah met with his rival Druze majority leader Walid Joumblat in Beirut's southern suburbs after over three-year political boycott, local Elnashra website reported Friday.
The long-awaited meeting took place on late Thursday, but was not announced to the press until Friday. The report said that the two leaders held in-depth discussions and stressed the need to move from the "situation of crisis to the situation of cooperation. "
The two leaders also stressed on working for more comprehensive reconciliations among various Lebanese groups, and agreed to continue contacts in the upcoming period, Xinhua reported.
The meeting covered evaluation of the internal situation and recent "challenges which emerged following the speech of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu," during which he refused the return of Palestinian refugees to their homes and set conditions to forming a Palestinian state.
Lebanon has more than 300,000 Palestinian refugees in camps all around the country.
The political impasse between Hezbollah and Joumblat came after the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005, and escalated in May 2008 when Hezbollah took over Sunni and Druze positions in Beirut and the mountain areas.
However, an understanding was reached in 2006 between Hezbollah and Christian opposition leader Michel Aoun, and was subjected to fierce criticism from the ruling majority.