Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 4°C

min temp: -2°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Suffolk: Former hostage Waite says ‘the past is the past’ on Lebanon return

10:45 09 December 2012

Terry Waite

Terry Waite

TERRY Waite, who was kidnapped and tortured 25 years ago by associates of the militant group Hezbollah, has returned to Lebanon to meet representatives of the organisation responsible for his capture.

The 73-year-old from Suffolk returned to Beirut last week to reconcile with his captors and to lay to rest the ghosts of the past.

Meeting Ammar Moussawi, a senior figure within Hezbollah, he told him: “My first reason for the visit is to say the past is the past. Let us leave it.”

Mr Waite also highlighted the plight of Syrians fleeing civil war in their homeland and asked for Hezbollah’s help in the run-up to Christmas, he told a national newspaper.

Mr Waite travelled to Lebanon in 1987 as an envoy of the Archbishop of Canterbury to try to secure the release of British hostage John McCarthy and other Western captives.

But he was accused of being a CIA agent and kidnapped.

For the first year of his captivity, Mr Waite was subjected to beatings and a mock execution. He was kept mainly in solitary confinement, chained to a radiator for 23 hours a day.

He was released at the end of 1991 and now says Hezbollah is a party of “stature”, and that the west’s view of the group is “very negative”.

Mr Waite told Mr Moussawi, the organisation’s most senior foreign affairs official, that Hezbollah was seen “quite wrongly” as a terrorist organisation.

He then asked for the group to help refugees fleeing from Syria, saying: “It is my view that Hezbollah can do itself a great deal of good at Christmas, the Christian festival, by perhaps doing something to give some support to the refugees who are in this country.

“When it does, the message will carry beyond the border of Lebanon.”

During the meeting, Mr Moussawi denied Hezbollah were responsible for his kidnapping and said Mr Waite would be welcome back “any time”.

0 comments

Station Road in Trimley, close to where a lorry went into an electricity pole. Image: Peter Wiles

Paramedics, police and three fire engines are currently at the scene of a crash in Trimley St Mary.

The White Horse Inn in Stoke Ash. Image: Ross Harvey @ www.rossharveyweddings.com

Paramedics treated one person who became trapped inside their car after two cars crashed on the A140 in Stoke Ash this evening.

The scene of a stand-off in Crowfield. Image: Glen Marney

A quiet Suffolk village is in lockdown this afternoon as a police stand-off which began at 11.15pm yesterday continues.

Police have sealed off Stone Street in Crowfield after concerns for the welfare of a man at a property in the village.

With the sun setting on the sleepy village of Crowfield this afternoon, you would hardly have known it was 18 hours in to an armed police stand-off.

Traffic on the A12 at Farnham - part of the road north is to be renamed the A47.

One of Suffolk’s three most important roads is set to get shorter.

Burglary spike in December

A senior detective has warned residents to be vigilant after burglaries in Suffolk increased by 40% in December.

The Blooming Fuchsia at the junction of Fuchsia Lane and Foxhall Road, Ipswich, in the 1980s - Photo by Albert Gonzalez

Dozens of public houses have closed in Ipswich in recent years. The pace of losses has now slowed and many community pubs are run by volunteers. 
This week David Kindred looks back at the two in particular - The Old Bell, which stood at the junction of Stoke Street, Vernon Street and Bell Lane, and Blooming Fuchsia in Foxhall Road.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24