Report: U.S. Talking With Hizbullah Via Britain

YERUSHALAYIM -

Washington has been conducting secret indirect talks with the Hizbullah terrorist organization, according to a Kuwaiti newspaper report, The Jerusalem Post said on Thursday.

The communications, which are channeled through British go-betweens, concern the fight against al-Qaida, regional stability and other Lebanese political issues, the Kuwaiti paper Al-Rai said on Wednesday, quoting senior British diplomatic sources.

The discussions “are aimed at keeping tabs on the changes in the region and the world, and preparing for the upcoming return of Iran to the international community,” according to diplomatic sources in Washington.

The reason for indirect contacts is because the U.S., unlike the U.K., recognizes both the political and military wings of Hizbullah as terrorist entities, making it illegal for U.S. officials to meet with them. But according to the sources, the U.S. is willing to hear the views of the party and “warm up to a direct relationship in the future.”

Al-Rai also noted that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani spoke with British Prime Minister David Cameron last week, and said the talks with Hizbullah, an Iranian ally, reflect Washington’s interest in better relations with the Islamic Republic.