Officials from the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah have refused to meet with former U.S. president Jimmy Carter, who is in Lebanon, Carter's spokesman Rick Jafculca said Wednesday.
Carter requested the meeting with the Iran-backed movement - which is recognized as a terrorist group by the United States - as part of a two-day visit to Lebanon to assess whether his Atlanta-based Carter Center will monitor parliamentary elections, which are scheduled to take place by May 2009
Jafculca confirmed a meeting had been requested with Hezbollah, but added that the group "were not able to meet" Carter.
"I am going to meet with as many of the political parties as possible," Carter had said on Tuesday. "I understand that several leaders of Hezbollah said they were not going to meet with any president or former president of the United States, so I don't know yet."
Carter's Lebanon visit, which started on Tuesday, will be followed by a trip to neighboring Syria.
Carter's talks in Syria include a meeting with President Bashar Assad, whose ties with the U.S. remain strained despite warming relations with other Western countries like France and Britain.
Carter is also scheduled to meet with Palestinian Hamas officials in Damascus.
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