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UPDATED: 19:39, January 04, 2007
Saudi King met Lebanon's high-ranking Hezbollah delegation
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A Lebanon's high-ranking Hezbollah delegation was received by Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz in Saudi Arabia last week, urging the Shiite group to sit down and discuss the controversial issue of the international tribunal with an "open-minded spirit," Lebanon's local daily As Safir reported on Thursday.

The daily said that the talks between Saudi King and Hezbollah deputy Secretary-General Sheikh Naim Qassem as well as other delegates lasted for some three hours.

They were focused on the situation in Lebanon, with King Abdullah stressing to the Hezbollah delegation that the kingdom stands at an equal distance from all Lebanese sides.

The two sides also touched on the issue of the Special International Tribunal for Lebanon to try suspects in the 2005 assassination of ex-Premier Rafik Hariri.

King Abdullah urged Hezbollah to discuss this issue with an " open-minded spirit with everyone, and introduce some amendments if needed, within the framework of a general Lebanese agreement on it.

It was reported that the three-day visit was aimed at easing tension between the mainly Sunni Muslim kingdom and Hezbollah, which is leading an opposition campaign to bring down the Beirut government.

Saudi Arabia is a major backer of Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and has been critical of Hezbollah since its guerrillas sparked a 34-day conflict with Israel after capturing two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border attack on July 12, according to media report.

Source: Xinhua

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