Written by 19:03 World

Top US Official Holding Talks on Defusing Israel-Hezbollah Conflict

A senior White House official met with French officials in Paris on Wednesday to discuss ways to defuse the escalating border fire between Israel and Hezbollah militants in Lebanon, a conflict that Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said this week had caused Israel to lose sovereignty in its north.

The trip by the official, Amos Hochstein, the special presidential coordinator for global energy and infrastructure, was confirmed by a person close to the talks, who spoke on the condition on anonymity to discuss sensitive diplomacy.

Mr. Hochstein has become President Biden’s de facto envoy in the quest to resolve the border conflict. He met with Jean-Yves Le Drian, President Emmanuel Macron’s special envoy to Lebanon, and Anne-Claire Legendre, a senior adviser to Mr. Macron, according to another person close to the talks.

Lebanon was a French protectorate after World War I; France still has some influence there and has offered proposals to halt the fighting. The White House had no immediate comment about Mr. Hochstein’s visit.

U.S. officials have worked for months to prevent a war between Israel and Hezbollah, which is backed by Iran and has launched rocket attacks on northern Israel in solidarity with Hamas, the armed group that governed Gaza and started the current war when it attacked Israel on Oct. 7.

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Last modified: 4 July 2024
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