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(photo credit: AP)
A Saudi diplomat said Thursday that Saudi King Abdullah made his first-ever personal contact with Lebanon's Hizbullah in a bid to ease the Lebanese political crisis.
The meeting was held in the kingdom on Dec. 27 between Hizbullah's deputy leader Sheik Naim Kassem and the Saudi monarch and Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, the diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the talks.
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The Saudi and Hizbullah leaders discussed ways to end the internal conflict in Lebanon that pits Hizbullah against the Saudi- and US-backed government of President Fouad Siniora.
The Saudi King invited Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah to the kingdom to perform the Muslim Hajj pilgrimage, but Nasrallah turned down the invitation, the diplomat said.
Talks between Hizbullah and the Saudi government are continuing through the Saudi embassy in Beirut, the diplomat said.