French FM meets Hezbollah legislator
France's Foreign Minister Bernard Kushner held talks with representatives of the Lebanon's opposition party Hezbollah in Lebanon. Hezbollah is recognized as a terrorist group in some European countries and in the United States, the Israeli newspaper Jerusalem Post reported.
The European Union and Britain have also sought to engage the Shiite organization in recent months in an effort to encourage the group to abandon violence and play a constructive political role in the deeply divided country. The United States, however, shuns Hezbollah, which it considers a terrorist organization.
Hezbollah which uses material and military support by Syria and Iran is one of the resistance forces against Israel in the region. Hezbollah takes 11 seats at the Lebanon Parliament and supports Hamas resistance in the Palestine-Israeli conflict.
Head of the parliamentary majority Saad Hariri tasked to form a government that could include Hezbollah and its partners, though some of Hariri's allies are vowing to strip Hezbollah of the veto power it had in the outgoing government.
Hezbollah had negotiated the power to veto government decisions after Shiite gunmen overran Sunni neighborhoods in Beirut in May 2008.
Kouchner discussed the efforts to form a new government in his meeting with MP from Hezbollah party Nawaf Musawi.
Hezbollah is part of the parties that participated in the recent parliamentary elections. It is natural to meet with its representatives, Kushner said.
Last month, the European Union's foreign affairs chief, Javier Solana, held talks with another representative of Hezbollah in Beirut. It was the first meeting between a senior EU diplomat and an official of the militant group.
British lawmakers met with the head of Hezbollah's bloc in parliament Mohammed Raad.
Britain's Foreign Ministry announced that it has contacted Hezbollah's political wing in an attempt to encourage the militant group to turn away from violence and become a positive force in Lebanon's politics.
During the meeting, Musawi and Kushner also discussed the implementation of UN resolution on Israel-Lebanon war in 2006.