Arab League ‘reverses view Hezbollah terrorist group’: report

Hossam Zaki (pictured), assistant secretary-general of the Arab League, and Hezbollah’s parliamentary chief (not pictured) have met [Stringer/Anadolu Agency/Getty-archive (2018)]

Hezbollah has met with the Arab League, with the regional bloc reportedly reversing its view that the Lebanese group is a terrorist organisation.

Hossam Zaki, assistant secretary-general of the Arab League, and Hezbollah parliamentary chief Mohammed Raad talked for about one-and-a-half hours, Lebanese broadcaster LBCI reported.

The two men spoke about the fighting between the armed group and Israeli forces in the country’s south.

Zaki reportedly said there should be no additional escalation and that Lebanon should choose a new president to fill the long-vacant position.

The Al-Akhbar newspaper, whose editorial line leans towards Hezbollah, said it was Hezbollah and the Arab League’s first contact in over 10 years.

It reported that sources said “Zaki informed Hezbollah that the [Arab] League decided to lift its terrorist classification, and believes that it has a major role in Lebanon’s future”.

The New Arab contacted the Arab League for comment but did not receive a reply before publication.

It comes as ties between Arab states, especially Saudi Arabia, and Iran have recently warmed.

Hezbollah has been trading cross-border fire with Israeli forces since the Gaza war broke out in October of last year.

The violence has killed 482 people in Lebanon, most of whom are fighters but also including 94 civilians, according to an AFP tally.

On the Israeli side, at least 15 soldiers and 11 civilians have been killed, according to authorities.

Israel’s war on Gaza has so far killed at least 37,765 people, according to the Palestinian enclave’s health ministry.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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