"Hezbollah leaders have refused to meet former US President Jimmy Carter, who is on a two-day visit to Lebanon, a Carter spokesman says. Carter, who had expressed his readiness to meet with Lebanon's Hezbollah officials, arrived in Beirut on Tuesday.
"I understand that some of the leaders of Hezbollah have said they were not going to meet with any president or former presidents of the United States," Carter said upon his arrival at Beirut airport, adding that he would meet other leaders. Carter's spokesman Rick Jafculca said Wednesday that Hezbollah turned down a request to meet Jimmy Carter. "They said they were not able to meet," Jafculca said.
Carter's Lebanon visit will be followed by a trip to neighboring Syria, where he held two meetings with Hamas political leader Khalid Meshaal in May. The meeting was strongly opposed by Washington and Israel, which insist Hamas is a terrorist organization despite its victory in Palestinian elections in 2006.
Jimmy Carter describes Israel's blockade of Gaza as one of the greatest human rights crimes now existing on Earth.
Carter is expected to meet President Bashar al-Assad during his visit to Syria. "