FM: EU may eventually call Hezbollah a terror group

Liberman cites significant support for Israeli call to add Hezbollah to EU terrorist blacklist, says process could take time.

July 25, 2012 08:39
1 minute read.
Avigdor Lieberman

Lieberman 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

There is significant support for Israel's call to add Hezbollah to the EU's terrorist blacklist, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman told Israel Radio from Brussels, in an interview aired Wednesday morning.

Liberman met Tuesday with his EU colleagues as part of the annual EU-Israel Association Council meeting, where he called on the body to put the Lebanese organization on its terrorist list.

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He said that discussion of his request, which seemed to be initially dismissed by EU officials, had been misrepresented, and that no one had expected it to be immediately accepted without debate.

The foreign minster added that it is a complicated process which requires the consensus of 37 countries, but he sounded hopeful as he stated that he had heard a lot of support for the move. "We have put the proposal forward officially," he said, indicating that it was a substantial beginning of what could be a long process to achieve the desired result.

Addressing fears that Syria would pass chemical or biological weapons on to Hezbollah, Liberman stated that for Israel this was a "red line" that would require immediate action. He said that all countries understood the gravity of such a move by Syria, and expressed his belief that Syrian President Bashar Assad also understood this, which was demonstrated by his regime's statements that the weapons were safely guarded.

The foreign minister reiterated sentiments expressed by both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and himself on Tuesday, that Israel was keen to repair relations with Turkey, which deteriorated following the May 2010 Mavi Marmara incident.

Liberman said that he did not see any reason why Israel and Turkey could not enjoy normal relations, and stressed that the two countries had many shared interests.

Finally, Liberman asserted that Yisrael Beytenu would without a doubt, oppose Vice Premier Moshe Ya'alon's proposal to replace the Tal Law, which he branded as "Tal Law 2."

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