For the first time a senior European Union diplomat has met a member of the political face of Lebanon’s Hezbollah .
EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana held talks with MP Hussein Hajj Hassan to encourage the group to abandon violence. The US and Israel considers Hezbollah a terrorist organisation. Javier Solana told reporters: “Having lists of terrorism is not necessarily the same in one country as in the other, but we consider Hezbollah to be part of the political life of the country (Lebanon). They have representatives in parliament and in that context I have talked to them.” Hezbollah’s political role was left uncertain last week when it and its allies lost Lebanon’s parliamentary election to a pro-Western coalition. Talks are now underway to form a national unity government which may include the grouping. But one of Hezbollah’s Christian allies, Suleiman Franjieh, has declared he would rather stay in opposition than team up with the US-backed winner. Saad Hariri’s win means he is in the driving seat to form Lebanon’s next government, but talks are sticking over the issue of a veto for the Hezbollah-led bloc.