Hezbollah TV: EU yielded to US, Israel pressure to blacklist armed wing

By JPOST.COM STAFF, REUTERS
July 22, 2013 20:12

Lebanese caretaker FM says EU decision to blacklist Hezbollah's military wing "will hinder Lebanese political life in the future".

1 minute read.



Lebanese Hezbollah supporters chant slogans and hold flags

Hezbollah supporters. (photo credit: Reuters/Khalil Hassan)

Hezbollah media on Monday blamed the EU for submitting to pressure from the US and Israel for the decision to blacklist the military wing of the Shi'ite militant organization.

A report on Hezbollah-run Al-Manar television cited a European sources as saying the EU's decision was based on a "cause of formality" in response to the terrorist attack last July in Burgas that killed five Israeli tourist and the Bulgarian bus driver.

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Hezbollah has maintained denial of responsibility for the Burgas attack.

According to Al-Manar, Hezbollah blamed Western powers for using the bombing in Bulgaria as fuel for labeling Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

European Union governments agreed Monday to put the armed wing of Hezbollah on the EU terrorism blacklist in a reversal of past policy fueled by concerns over the Lebanese militant movement's activities in Europe.

Hezbollah functions both as a political party that is part of the Lebanese government and as a militia with thousands of guerrillas under arms.

Lebanese caretaker Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour said the decision was "hasty" and could lead to further sanctions against the movement that would complicate Lebanese politics.

"This will hinder Lebanese political life in the future, especially considering our sensitivities in Lebanon," he told Reuters. "We need to tighten bonds among Lebanese parties, rather than create additional problems.

Britain and the Netherlands have pressed EU peers since May to put the Shi'ite Muslim group's military wing on the bloc's terrorism list, citing evidence it was behind the bus bombing in Bulgaria last year.

Until now, the EU had resisted pressure from Washington and Israel to blacklist Hezbollah, arguing such a move could fuel instability in Lebanon, where the group is part of the government, and add to tensions in the Middle East.


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