Lebanon Decries EU Blacklist of Hezbollah's Military Wing as 'Hasty'

Lebanese Foreign Minister, a close ally of the Islamist group, says EU caved to American pressure in a move that could 'reflect negatively and leave repercussions on Lebanon.'

The Associated Press
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Lebanon has described as "hasty" the European Union's decision to list the military wing of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

"There should have been more discussions before taking such a step in order for it not to reflect negatively and leave repercussions on Lebanon," said Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour, who is a close ally of the Lebanese Shiite movement.

The Iranian-backed group plays a pivotal role in Lebanese politics, dominating the government since 2011. It has since sent its members to bolster Syria's President Bashar Assad forces in their assault of rebel-held areas.

Lebanon's outgoing prime minister, Najib Mikati, expressed disappointment in the EU's action, saying: "We wish that the EU countries had conducted a more careful reading of the facts."

Walid Sukariyeh, a pro-Hezbollah legislator who belongs to the group's bloc, said the European decision came as a result of American pressure.

"Europe tried to have an independent stance away from America's diction, but I believe by this stance it has abandoned its independence and the independence of its policy," he said.

"Hezbollah did not carry out any terrorist attacks, neither in Europe nor outside Europe. Hezbollah is a resistance movement that fought to liberate occupied land from the Israeli enemy," Sukariyeh said.

Lebanon's President Michel Suleiman, left, meeting Prime Minister Najib Mikati at the presidential palace in Baabda, near Beirut, March 23, 2013.Credit: Reuters