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  • 3/8/2009

US will not follow UK on Hezbollah


Obama’s administration ‘is not ready’ to join Britain in contacting the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah, says the US State Department.

"We are not ready to take the same step," said the State Department’s acting deputy spokesman, Gordon Duguid, on Friday after London decided to re-establish contacts with Hezbollah’s political wing given its contributions to stability in Lebanon.

"Our position on Hezbollah has not changed," he added regarding Washington’s age-old way of calling the group ‘terrorist’; a position which was pursued strongly under former president George W. Bush.

Duguid noted that the new administration was abiding by the entrenched US policies, which include unquestioning military and political support for Israel against the Lebanese and Palestinian resistance factions.

The support, which did not fade during the recent three-week-long Israeli raids on the Gaza Strip, was acknowledged by President Barack Obama following his January inauguration.

This is while Obama has vowed to enter dialogue with ‘US enemies’ and prioritize the Middle East peace process in line with his campaign pledge of ‘change’.

On Friday, the British Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Bill Rammell, announced Britain’s policy revision concerning Hezbollah, citing the group’s contribution to a national unity government as a reason for the new policy.

The talks are, however, not to involve Hezbollah’s military wing which Downing Street continues to shun as a ‘terror group’.

Hezbollah was integrated into the Lebanese national unity government in July. The group enjoys 14 seats in the Lebanese parliament.

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