Report: US, Hezbollah Holding Secret Talks in Lebanon

Claims Hezbollah-US relations 'developing positively' will do little to calm traditional allies' concerns over shifting US foreign policy.

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Ari Soffer, | updated: 09:49

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah
Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah
AFP file

US embassy officials in Lebanon have been conducting secret and "indirect" talks with Hezbollah, according to Kuwait's al-Anbaa newspaper.

The paper quoted an unnamed member of the March 14 alliance, who claimed that "relations between the Hezbollah and the US are developing positively."

March 14 is an alliance of Lebanese political factions opposed to the influence of Hezbollah and its Syrian and Iranian patrons.

As further proof of a budding, if as-yet unofficial diplomatic relationship between the US and the Shia terrorist group, the unnamed MP pointed out that during his last public address Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah notably neglected to criticize US foreign policy in Lebanon and the wider Middle East.

The unnamed source went on to site an alleged statement by the US's Ambassador to Lebanon David Hale, who he said informed several Lebanese leaders that "a cabinet can not be formed without Hezbollah participation."

If true, the rapprochement marks a continuing shift in US foreign policy towards Iran and its regional allies, and will do little to assuage the growing feelings of abandonment by America's traditional allies in the region - in particular the Arab Gulf States and Israel.

It would also be a remarkable shift in relations given Hezbollah's legacy of bloody attacks against US personnel in the region, including the infamous October 1983 truck bombing of a multinational forces barracks in the Lebanese capital which killed 241 American soldiers and wounded scores more. 58 French paratroopers were also killed in that attack.