EU agrees to put Hezbollah’s military wing on terror list

The European Union declared on Monday the military wing of Lebanese party Hezbollah as a terrorist group.

Diplomats said the decision was made following concerns over the group’s activities in Europe.

Blacklisting Hezbollah means imposing visa bans on individuals and asset freezes on organizations associated with it.

However, implementation would be complicated since officials would have to unravel the links between the different wings within Hezbollah’s organizational network, and see who could be targeted for belonging to its military.

EU foreign ministers had been working for months to blacklist Hezbollah, after the group was accused of involvement in last year’s attack on an Israeli tourist bus in Bulgaria.

Hezbollah has denied involvement in the incident.

Britain, backed by France and the Netherlands among others, has argued that Hezbollah’s growing involvement in the Syrian war means Lebanon is already in a fragile situation and that the EU must weigh the possibility of future attacks in Europe.

A draft of the meeting conclusions noted that making use of “restrictive measures to combat terrorism does not prevent the continuation of dialogue with all political parties in Lebanon.”

“Legitimate financial transfers” and aid will also not be affected, it added, according to the AFP news agency.

On Thursday, Lebanon asked Brussels not to blacklist Hezbollah on the grounds the group was an “essential component of Lebanese society.”

Source: Agencies

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