Berlin Ready to Mediate in Hezbollah-Israel Hostage Exchange
Germany has accepted a Hezbollah request to act as mediator in its bid to exchange three imprisoned Israeli soldiers for 19 guerrillas being held in Israel, according to the news magazine Der Spiegel.
The German foreign ministry could not confirm the report Saturday.
In an article to appear on Monday, the German weekly said the government had said yes to the request by Hezbollah leader, Shiekh Hassan Nasrallah, but that Israel was hesitant to accept.
Shiekh Nasrallah said on October 16 that Germany had not contacted him and that two attempts to mediate involved UN chief Kofi Annan and Russia.
Last December, Germany transported five jailed Hezbollah members from Israel to Beirut via Frankfurt on a Lufthansa aircraft.
Nasrallah thanked Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder at the time for having "sent good negotiators."
Schroeder is to begin a visit to the Middle East on October 28.
Hezbollah captured the three soldiers on Lebanon's border with Israel on October 7.
Israel wants the men released unconditionally -- BERLIN (AFP)
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