Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 13°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.

shares

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”.

shares

0 comments

An accident has caused travel delays

A 79-year-old man has died following a collision involving a trailer that had separated from a tractor as it travelled along an Essex road.

1st Woodbridge Scout Group take part in the Woodbridge carnival procession.

This year’s Woodbridge Carnival was particularly special for several reasons.

Large crowds soak up the sun and music at Music by the Sea in Aldeburgh.

A record-breaking number of music lovers lapped up the sounds of the sixties, seventies, eighties, nineties and noughties on the Suffolk coast.

Seth and Eliza Gaw loved Latitude but planning was key, says dad Matt Gaw

With the mounting costs of family holidays, events like Latitude can be a genuine alternative to a traditional bucket and spade break.

A man has been arrested in the investigation

A man has been arrested following reports of a rape in Sudbury.

Mounted police officers patrol on the beach of  Sousse, Tunisia. Inset image of Stuart Cullen.

The Government is to fund a permanent memorial dedicated to the victims of the Tunisian beach massacre - including two Suffolk victims.

Thousands of people are expected to flock to Ipswich Music Day, in Christchurch Park

The annual Ipswich Music Day festivities in Christchurch Park get underway at 12pm, despite the wet weather.

Police have arrested a man following the stabbing

Police in Essex have arrested a man following a stabbing which happened in Chelmsford yesterday afternoon.

An Abellio Greater Anglia train at Colchester

Train delays through Suffolk and Essex have been caused by urgent repairs to a railway bridge between Witham and Hatfield Peveral.

Ipswich swimmer Karen Pickering at the towns Crown Pools with the medals she won at the Commonwealth Games in Canada

For years, Karen Pickering was known around Ipswich simply as ‘Swimmer’, and you can understand why, writes Sheen Grant after talking to the new mum of twin girls, Evie and Mia.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages