Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom tried Monday to persuade his French counterpart Michel Barnier that Hezbollah should be added to the European Union's list of terror organizations, but Barnier said such a move "would have political aspects. Hezbollah has a political party and the entire Lebanese context must be viewed" in the matter.
Retorted Shalom, "Show me another political party with 12,000 rockets," and Barnier promised to look into the matter ahead of next week's EU session in Brussels to discuss the terror list.
Barnier also met with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Vice Premier Shimon Peres, expressing support for the disengagement plan and promising that Europe would help implement it.
Canadian Foreign Minister Pierre Pettigrew met with Peres and Shalom and asked what kind of role Canada could have in the political process. Canada heads the multinational committee on refugees, which has not convened for the past few years.
Peres said it is important to know how many Palestinian refugees there actually are to prepare an aid package for them. Shalom proposed the refugees be rehabilitated in the countries in which they are living to eliminate the Palestinian demand for the right of return.
Jill Sinclair, who coordinates the multi-national talks for Canada, told the two Israeli ministers about a refugee rehabilitation project in northern Syria, funded by Canada. At first there was resistance from the refugees about moving to new homes for political reasons. "But when they saw the kitchens and baths, they went. People want better lives," said Sinclair.
She said that the rehabilitation was a humanitarian effort and not related to the political solution, and proposed similar projects be undertaken in Gaza after the planned Israeli withdrawal.
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