Britain said Wednesday it was prepared to engage in direct contacts with the political wing of Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, after it became part of a national unity government there last year.
London has had no official talks with Hezbollah since 2005, and last July added its military wing to a blacklist of designated terrorist groups.
"We have reconsidered the position ... in light of more positive developments within Lebanon," Foreign Office Minister Bill Rammell told a parliamentary committee. "For that reason we have explored establishing contacts."
Rammell said he was referring to the formation in July last year of a unity government in which Hezbollah and its allies hold effective veto power, as agreed under a deal that ended a paralyzing political conflict in the country.
Rammell said there had already been a "first meeting," between a delegation of lawmakers from the main opposition Conservative party visiting Lebanon and a Lebanese parliamentary delegation which included a member of Hezbollah.
"We will look to have further discussions and our overriding objective in that is to press Hezbollah to play a more constructive role and move away from violence," he said.
Reuters contributed to this report.