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Lebanese rivals hold talks on Hezbollah’s arms

BEIRUT (AP) — Rival Lebanese factions have resumed a national dialogue on defense that could eventually integrate the militant Hezbollah group’s arsenal into the Lebanese regular army.

Monday’s meeting comes amid rising tension in Lebanon between pro- and anti-Syrian groups. Syria’s crisis spilled over into Lebanon where nearly two dozen people have been killed over the past weeks. Hezbollah is a close ally of Damascus.

The group’s stockpile of weapons is a major source of division among Lebanese. Some say the group should disarm while others say the weapons are necessary to defend the country in case of an Israeli attack.

The last round of national dialogue was held in November 2010. They broke then after Hezbollah walked out over a tribunal investigating the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

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