WASHINGTON -- After developments on Wednesday set back efforts to convince the European Union to list Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, members of Congress are expressing their disappointment and calling for a renewed push against reluctant EU member states.
Great Britain had been leading the initiative, but Italy, Austria and the Czech Republic continue to harbor reservations, Reuters reported, fearful that the listing would result in terrorist reprisals in Europe and further upheaval in the Middle East.
A unanimous vote by EU members is required to classify Hezbollah as a terrorist enterprise.
In a statement to The Jerusalem Post, Congressman Eliot Engel (NY-16) said he was "very disappointed" that some countries in the EU "continue to believe that Hezbollah is not a terrorist organization."
"EU-US cooperation on combating global terrorism will continue to face unnecessary obstacles until Hezbollah is properly labeled a terrorist organization, in its entirety," the congressman said. "Nonetheless, I applaud the efforts of the UK, France and Germany, and am confident that this situation will change in the future."
Speaking to the Post, Congressman Doug Lamborn (CO-05) signaled that the pressure on reluctant EU countries would not abate.
“It is critical that our friends and allies across the Atlantic publicly declare Hezbollah a terror organization so that we can choke off the funding this dangerous terrorist group gets across Europe,” Lamborn said. “All of our friends and allies in Europe need to step forward against this organization which has killed more Americans than any other after al-Qaida because inaction is only emboldening them."