Lahoud backs Hizbullah
Lebanon’s President Emile Lahoud renewed support for Hizbullah in talks with US Senate intelligence committee head Bob Graham and said it was not linked to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network.
Lahoud "reaffirmed his condemnation of terrorism while making a distinction between terrorist acts and the right of peoples to recover their occupied territories", the president's office said in a statement.
Hizbullah "forced Israel to withdraw from south Lebanon" in May 2000 after two decades of occupation, he said. In addition, the Lebanese president noted "there is no link between Hizbullah and al-Qaeda."
"Media dominated by international Zionism are peddling such allegations with the aim of damaging Lebanon and its national resistance," the president charged.
Graham, a Democrat, is being accompanied on a Middle East tour by his Republican colleague Mike DeWine. Lahoud told them that "the ideas voiced last week by US President George W. Bush could not be considered an action plan to bring an end to the explosive situation in the Middle East due to the absence of any immediate solution."
On Iraq, Lahoud warned that "the Arab people will not accept" any US military strike on the country because Baghdad "does not represent a danger to world peace", as stated by Washington. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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