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Hezbollah Hints At Possible Disarmament


Sheikh Naim Kassem
The Lebanese militant group, Hezbollah, has indicated it would be prepared to discuss conditional disarmament if Israel withdraws from a disputed border area.

Hezbollah's deputy leader Sheikh Naim Kassem told London's Financial Times that disarmament, called for by Washington and the United Nations, could pave the way for Hezbollah fighters to become a kind of reservist army working with Lebanese authorities.

But he said talks on the issue could not take place while Israel remained in the disputed Shebaa Farms, a tiny border enclave captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war. Lebanon and Syria say the area is Lebanese territory, while the United Nations says it is Israeli-occupied Syrian land.

Debate about disarming Hezbollah has resurfaced since Syria began withdrawing its troops from Lebanon in the wake of the February 14 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.