Beirut mayor denies contact with Haifa mayor: report 2009-08-28 21:46:01   Print

    BEIRUT, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- Beiruti mayor on Friday denied reports in Israeli media about inviting northwest Israeli port city Haifa's mayor to take part in an upcoming conference on water shortage, Hezbollah's al-Manar TV reported.

    Abdul Menem al-Ariss told al-Manar TV that Israel has a history in fabricating such news, adding that the Lebanese government has clearly stated that Lebanon will not negotiate with Israel and will be the last Arab state to sign any agreement with it.

    The Israeli newspaper Yedioth Aharonoth claimed on Friday that the head of Haifa municipality was "touched" by the invitation from his Beiruti counterpart, and responded that he would be happy to attend the conference to be held in the French city of Leon.

    After the war between Hezbollah and Israel in the summer of 2006, Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Seniora said he refused to have any direct contact with Israel, and that Lebanon would be the last Arab country to ever sign a peace deal with it.

    However, former Lebanese President and Christian pro-government leader Amin Gemayel Friday suggested indirect talks with Israel to settle the border dispute between the two countries.

    He said the election of U.S. President Barack Obama has "sparked a new dialogue spirit" in Arab-Israeli talks.

    There has been no diplomatic relations between Israel and Lebanon since the creation of the Jewish state in 1948.

Editor: Deng Shasha
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