EU still deadlocked on blacklisting Hezbollah

EU still deadlocked on blacklisting Hezbollah
Mon Jul 15, 2013 22:26:02

Britain and France have been desperately leading efforts to blacklist Lebanon’s resistance movement Hezbollah, which has a major political and social standing within the Lebanese society.

European Union nations are divided going into fresh talks this week on whether to add the military wing of popular Hezbollah Resistance to its list of terrorist groups, diplomatic sources said Monday.

EU ambassadors are set to discuss the issue on Thursday after counter-terrorist experts from the bloc's 28 member states twice failed last month to reach a unanimous decision to blacklist the powerful Lebanese Shiite resistance group.

Unanimity is required to add the resistance group to the dozen people and score of groups currently on the EU international terrorist list and subject to an asset freeze.

EU diplomats speaking on condition of anonymity said Austria, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Malta and Slovakia had not signed on so far to a push led by Britain, France and the Netherlands to blacklist the group.

One EU source said the new Czech foreign minister had offered no indication so far of Prague changing its mind, and a diplomat said Austria was still mulling the issue.

The EU, however, regards Hezbollah as an active political party in Lebanon. It says there is not enough evidence to warrant listing the Lebanese group as a terror group like the US.

Any change in EU policy on Hezbollah, which needs unanimity among the 27-EU member states, has not so far achieved.

London has based its claim against Hezbollah on its alleged involvement in the conflict in Syria and in a bombing in Bulgaria.

The bus bombing happened last July in the Black Sea resort of Burgas, where five Israeli tourists, a Bulgarian driver and the bomber were killed.

In August 2012, British Prime Minister David Cameron met with his Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borisov in London in order to level an accusation against Hezbollah, claiming the group was behind the July 18 bombing.


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