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European Union: EU Adds Hezbollah Military Wing to Terrorist List

(July 24, 2013) On July 22, 2013, the European Union’s 28 foreign ministers, at a meeting held in Brussels and chaired by Catherine Ashton, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, added the military wing of the Lebanese organization Hezbollah to its list of terrorist organizations. (Foreign Affairs Council – July 2013, TV NEWSROOM (July 22, 2013).)

Ashton pointed out that the move does not prevent the EU from continuing its dialogue on peace and security in the region with all the political parties in Lebanon. The Council of Foreign Ministers agreed to continue the delivery of EU and individual Member State financial assistance to Lebanon. The EU position on Hezbollah will be reviewed again in six months. (Press Release, A 395/13, Remarks by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton Following the Foreign Affairs Council (July 22, 2013).)

The United Kingdom was instrumental in the designation of the military wing of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, following a bomb attack in Burgas, Bulgaria, in 2012 that UK authorities have attributed to the group. Hezbollah has denied its involvement in the incident. Information related to a 2012 thwarted terrorist attack in Cyprus, another EU Member State, also prompted the EU foreign ministers to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. In addition, Hezbollah’s recent military support of the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad contributed to the decision. (EU Adds Hezbollah’s Military Wing to Its Terrorist List,EURACTIV (updated July 23, 2013).)