July 10, 2010
Frances GuyAmbassador to the Republic of Lebanon, Beirut RSS feed The problem with diplomatic blogging
Posted 09 July 2010 by Frances Guy | 0 comments
The problem with diplomatic blogging is that you risk being anodyne or controversial. Clearly in the last few days I have been the latter. This was not my intent. My comments on the late Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah have now been removed because they were leading to confusion about British policy. I would like to be clear. I have no truck with terrorism wherever it is committed in whoever’s name. The British Government has been clear that it condemns terrorist activity carried out by Hizballah. I share that view. I believe that it should be possible for Hizballah to reject violence and play a constructive, democratic and peaceful role in Lebanese politics, in line with UN Security Council Resolutions, including UNSCR 1701. This is something I discussed often with Sheikh Fadlallah when we met.
The blog was my personal attempt to offer some reflections of a figure who while controversial was also highly influential in Lebanon's history and who offered spiritual guidance to many Muslims in need. I recognise that some of my words have upset people. This was certainly not my intention. I have spent most of my career in the Arab world working to combat terrorism, and the extremism and prejudice which can fuel it. I am sorry that an attempt to acknowledge the spiritual significance to many of Sheikh Fadlallah and the views that he held in the latter part of his life has served only to further entrench divisions in this complex part of the world. I regret any offence caused.