EU move has repercussions: Hezbollah

EU move has repercussions: Hezbollah
Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:35:44

Hezbollah says the EU decision to blacklist the resistance movement’s military wing would have repercussions, adding that Europe cannot reasonably expect to engage in dialogue with the party after condemning it.

“Certainly ... the decision will have repercussions; it will not pass by easily. I won’t predict [what these repercussions will be], this has to do with our leadership,” The Daily Star newspaper quoted Ammar Musawi, Hezbollah’s official in charge of international relations, as saying on Thursday.

“No one can condemn me and extend a hand to me simultaneously,” Musawi added, after a meeting with EU Ambassador Angelina Eichhorst at his office in the southern suburbs of the capital, Beirut.

Asked whether the decision would affect Hezbollah’s relations with the UN Interim Force in Lebanon, Musawi said: “I do not want to jump the gun, but I already said: You cannot condemn me and extend a hand to me at the same time.”

The EU’s 28 member states decided unanimously Monday to blacklist Hezbollah’s military wing, after Bulgaria accused the Lebanese resistance group of involvement in a 2012 Burgas bombing that killed five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian driver.

In line with the decision, the Council of the European Union announced Thursday that Hezbollah’s military wing had been added to “the EU’s list of entities, groups and persons involved in terrorist acts.”

The council said in a joint statement with the European Commission that the decision would not prevent the EU from engaging in dialogue with Lebanese political parties, including Hezbollah.

“In addition, the Council and the Commission agreed that the decision does not affect legitimate financial transfers made to Lebanon and the delivery of assistance, including humanitarian assistance, from the European Union and its member states in Lebanon,” the statement added. The decision will be published in the EU official journal Friday and will be reviewed every six months.

But Musawi stressed that no separate military wing of Hezbollah existed. “Hezbollah is one body, with one command; military personnel [in Hezbollah] are politicians and politicians are military personnel,” he said.

Musawi said he informed Eichhorst of his party’s opposition to the move, saying it reflected Europe’s yielding to the will of Israel and the United States. He also reportedly told Eichhorst the move was an insult to Hezbollah.

For her part, Eichhorst said she informed Musawi about the motivations behind the decision.

“We discussed the impact of the decision. First and foremost, the reason behind the decision ... is as you all know the attack on European soil, which took place last year in Bulgaria,” she said. “The European Union condemns any attacks on its soil and the [EU] foreign ministers have taken a decision to give a political message to the military wing of Hezbollah.”

Eichhorst said the decision would not prevent the EU from continuing to cooperate with Lebanon and its political parties.

Eichhorst said the decision was not “a justification for an action of any country including Israel in Lebanon.”

Musawi said the EU decision was part of an attempt to put political pressure on Hezbollah and would come to no avail.

He also said that the head of Bulgaria’s intelligence indicated that Hezbollah was not involved in Bulgaria’s attack two weeks ago.

“But few days ago, when the last round of discussions over blacklisting Hezbollah began, Bulgarian Interior Minister [Tsvetlin Yovchev] said his country had important findings [implicating Hezbollah],” he said.

Eichhorst’s talks with Musawi were part of a string of visits she paid to Lebanese officials Thursday to explain the motivation behind the EU move.

Sheikh Abdel-Amir Qabalan, the deputy head of the Higher Shia Council, said the resistance was not a terrorist organization, but was working to prevent strife.

“Those accusing us of terrorism should stop challenging us, they have to deal with us politely and engage in dialogue with us,” Qabalan said.

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