Sources said that the Hizbollah "issue" topped the agenda of an official visit to Beirut by the Canadian Foreign Minister John Manley, who arrived there Monday for talks with Lebanese officials on the US-led anti-terror campaign.
The Canadian official urged the the Lebanese government on Tuesday to curb Hizbollah’s resistance operations against Israeli troops and resort to diplomacy to resolve the fate of the occupied Shabaa Farms, sources told the Daily Star.
“Governments that have the ability to influence any groups that use violence as a means to advancing political objectives should use that influence to discourage them,” Manley said.
He underlined that after Sept. 11, “the word resistance has been erased from the dictionary.”
The sources stressed that Lebanese officials understood the message, but rejected curbing Hizbollah, which is “the liberator of the South from 22 years of Israeli occupation.”
According to the Beirut-based paper, Manley’s meeting with Hariri was extended by 45 minutes due to the heated debate. Hariri defended Lebanon’s right to continue its resistance activities until the Shabaa Farms are liberated.
Israel conquered the area from Syria, but both Damascus and Beirut now say the land belongs to Lebanon.
Manley also met with the President Emile Lahoud and had similar talks in Damascus on Monday.
Israel withdrew from an occupation zone in southern Lebanon in May 2000, leaving behind minefields, ruined infrastructure and countless orphans – Albawaba.com