News / Europe

France Wants Hezbollah Armed Wing on EU Terror List Soon

Supporters of Hezbollah and relatives of Hezbollah member Hussein Ahmad Abu Hasan carry his coffin during his funeral in Beirut's suburbs May 21, 2013.Supporters of Hezbollah and relatives of Hezbollah member Hussein Ahmad Abu Hasan carry his coffin during his funeral in Beirut's suburbs May 21, 2013.
x
Supporters of Hezbollah and relatives of Hezbollah member Hussein Ahmad Abu Hasan carry his coffin during his funeral in Beirut's suburbs May 21, 2013.
Supporters of Hezbollah and relatives of Hezbollah member Hussein Ahmad Abu Hasan carry his coffin during his funeral in Beirut's suburbs May 21, 2013.
Reuters
France said on Thursday it hoped an initiative could be agreed upon by the end of June to put the armed wing of Hezbollah on the EU's list of terrorist organizations on grounds the group is importing Syria's war into Lebanon.

Paris has traditionally been cautious about backing steps to sanction Hezbollah, fearing it could destabilize Lebanon and put U.N. peacekeepers at risk, but in recent weeks has said it would consider all options.

Britain said this week it wants the EU to add the military wing to the list because of evidence the Islamist group was involved in an attack that killed five Israelis in Bulgaria.

German diplomats in Brussels said on Wednesday Berlin would support Britain's request, which will be discussed in early June by a special EU working group.

Foreign ministry spokesman Philippe Lalliot, confirming comments made by Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius at the end of the Friends of Syria conference in Amman on Wednesday, said Hezbollah had violated an agreement among Lebanese political parties by getting involved in Syria.

“By deciding to intervene massively in Syria, Hezbollah has broken the consensus,” he told a daily briefing on Thursday.

“The war in Syria is not the war of the Lebanese. Importing it into Lebanon is dangerous for its stability as the rise in tension in the country shows,” said Lalliot.

Five people were killed and more than 50 wounded in overnight clashes in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli among gunmen backing rival factions in Syria's civil war, doctors and security sources said on Thursday.

Hezbollah guerrillas are fighting their biggest battle yet for Assad, and about 30 were killed on Sunday, Syrian activists said, during fighting in the rebel stronghold of Qusair, near the Lebanese border.

France, the former colonial ruler in Lebanon, has about 900 troops as part of the U.N. peacekeeping force in the country.

Britain's request will be discussed first by the special working group, and if it is approved it will be taken to foreign ministers.

French support is likely to make it easier to convince other reticent EU member states to support the proposal and achieve the required unanimity of the 27 states.

“It is conceivable to adopt this decision between now and the end of June, but that will depend on an agreement in Brussels,” Lalliot said.

Bulgaria presented the results of its bomb probe to EU foreign ministers on February 18, urging them to take a harder stance towards Hezbollah. Two days later, Bulgaria's government resigned after mass protests over an economic crisis.

The United States already lists Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, and U.S. and Israeli authorities want the EU to follow suit. Many European governments are concerned, though, the move could fuel tensions in the Middle East.

In Europe, only the Netherlands lists Hezbollah as a terrorist group, and Britain blacklists its military wing.

European governments and companies must cease any financial dealings with groups on the list.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid