Pro-Hizbullah Lebanese Daily Al-Akhbar: German Intelligence Official Met In Beirut With Hizbullah Deputy, But Failed To Reach Agreement On Ceasing Hizbullah Attacks On Israel

January 29, 2024

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On January 27, 2024, the pro-Hizbullah Lebanese daily, Al-Akhbar, reported that Western officials, including the deputy director of German Foreign Intelligence, had met recently with a top Hizbullah leader in Beirut to attempt to stop Hizbullah attacks against Israel.[1]

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Exclusive Visit to Hizbullah Leader

The report claimed that "the most prominent of these visits was made by the Deputy Director of German Foreign Intelligence, Oli Diehl, who came to Beirut about two weeks ago and stayed for one night, to meet with the Deputy Secretary-General of Hizbullah, Sheikh Naim Qassem."

It noted that Diehl was accompanied by "the Director of the German Intelligence Station in Beirut."

Highlighting that the visit was made with the sole purpose of meeting with Hizbullah officials, the report said the German official held no meetings with any Lebanese government officials while in Lebanon.

The Meeting's Outcome

Reporting on the outcome of the meeting, Al-Akhbar said that the discussion in the meeting did not reach a tangible result. He added that the German side failed to convince Hizbullah to cease its operations against Israel, or to separate the Lebanese front from Gaza front.

"On the contrary, sources from both sides said that Sheikh Qassim was firm in emphasizing the resistance's decision and its ability to defeat the enemy if the latter decided to expand its aggression. He refused to discuss anything before [Israel] stops the war on Gaza. He urged Germany to put pressure on Israel to stop its aggression."

The report explained that Qassim did not provide further details on Hizbullah's vision for the future, or any conditions it would accept concerning the situation in Gaza to order Hizbullah forces to stop their military operations.

German-Hizbullah "Rupture"

Diehl's visit comes after a security "rupture" between German intelligence and the Head of the Hizbullah Liaison and Coordination Unit, Wafiq Safa. The break came after Berlin took measures in recent years against Lebanese nationals who were accused -falsely, according to the newspaper report – of working with Hizbullah.

However, the report noted, Germany has "always maintained back [communication] lines with Hizbullah, based on a previous relationship during which Germany succeeded in completing a prisoner exchange deal in 2004 between the resistance and the enemy [i.e., Israel]. But things changed when Germany followed a policy of complete alignment with Israel against Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine, and risked its political and economic status in the eastern Mediterranean."


[1] Al-akhbar, January 27, 2024.

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