Lebanon: Dialogue round held as Aoun backs direct talks with Israel
Free Patriotic Movement leader Gen. Michel Aoun has called for direct talks between Lebanon and Israel provided that Syria takes part. "We do not mind direct negotiations with Israel if Syria is at the same table," Aoun, who is a close political ally to Hizbullah, was quoted as saying by the Bahraini newspaper Al-Bilad.
According to Aoun, he has an understanding with Damascus, stressing that he has full confidence in Syria's work. The Christian leader also indicated that he could open "channels" with the new U.S. administration.
Aoun's comments came as a third round of dialogue was launched Monday, discussing a defense strategy and Russian arms supplies for Lebanon. The talks held amid reports that the parliamentary majority is seeking an inquiry into Hizbullah's recent call for resistance to "liberate" Palestine.
The Arabic daily Al-Hayat said Monday that the majority coalition wants to know what Hizbullah meant by stating that it would continue with the resistance until Palestine is liberated and whether this is a sign that the Shiite party would maintain its weapons even after the liberation of Shebaa Farms.
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