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Hezbollah Probes Detente With Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood

Hezbollah leaders look to improve relations Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, or at least refrain from criticism, while emphasizing their shared interests, writes Nasser Chararah.
A girl walks with the Hezbollah flag past Lebanon's Hezbollah supporters during a demonstration, organised by Lebanese and Palestinian factions, against Israel's military operation in Gaza, in front of the U.N. headquarters in Beirut November 17, 2012. Israeli aircraft bombed Hamas government buildings in Gaza on Saturday, including the prime minister's office, after Israel's cabinet authorised the mobilisation of up to 75,000 reservists, preparing for a possible ground invasion. REUTERS/Jamal Saidi (LEBANO

The dialogue between Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt never stopped. It continued — albeit secretly — given the sensitivities plaguing their relationship, due to their conflicting positions on sensitive and important issues. But so far, we can say with confidence that the secret dialogue between the two parties, marred by irregularities, has led to a clear outcome: the commitment of the parties not to criticize each other openly. Moreover, the two parties do not miss any suitable and calculated opportunities to show signs of good faith toward each other.

Over the past month, the Egyptian ambassador to Lebanon said in a Lebanese newspaper that his country's government wishes to improve its relationship with Hezbollah, describing its role as important and adding that Egypt must take it into consideration in order to restore its ties and role in the region. The former General Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Mohammed Mahdi Akef, had declared jihad alongside Hezbollah to counter the Israeli war on Lebanon in 2006, expressing the readiness of the Muslim Brotherhood to send thousands of mujahideen to fight alongside the party.

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