Hizbullah dismisses terrorism charges
Hizbullah on Tuesday dismissed French accusations that it was a terrorist group, without threatening to pull out of an all-party conference in France aimed at easing Lebanon's political crisis.
"Hizbullah did not take (an official) position regarding what was said in Paris," said the Shiite movement's Mohammed Fneish, a former energy minister.
On Monday, President Nicolas Sarkozy's spokesman said France would press Hizbullah at the July 14-16 Paris conference to renounce the use of terrorism and limit itself to being a political party.
"These remarks are meant to satisfy the Zionist lobby" in France, said Fneish, one of Hizbullah's two representatives to the conference, quoted in Beirut's An-Nahar newspaper. "If Hizbullah was a terrorist movement, why was it invited to participate in the conference?" he asked. "We are not terrorists, we are a resistance movement and the French know this through our non-stop contacts with them."
Al-Akhbar daily quoted a Hizbullah source as saying that "the position (to participate in the conference) is under study."
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