EU blacklists Hezbollah
Relatives and officials pay respect on July 18, 2013 to a memorial dedicated to the five Israeli and one Bulgarian victims of a suicide blast which targeted on July 18, 2012 a bus of Israeli tourists at Burgas airport, southeast Bulgaria. A year after, Bulgaria is struggling to identify the attacker or confirm his suspected links to Hezbollah or Iran. (NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV/AFP/Getty Images)
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The European Union voted on Monday to place the military wing of Hezbollah on is terror list, the AFP has reported. The decison was unanimous.
Israel welcomed the vote, with Justice Minister Tzpi Livni quoted by AFP as saying "Finally, after years of deliberations, the claim that Hezbollah is a legitimate political party has rightfully failed". "Now it is clear to the entire world that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization", he added.
Blacklisting the organization means Hezbollah members will not be allowed certain visas, and any assets on organizations associated with the group will be frozen.
Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans, quoted by the AFP, said: "It is good that the EU has decided to call Hezbollah what it is: a terrorist organization".
"We should name names because the time has come to tell the truth," Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Antanas Linkevicius, who chaired Monday's meeting, was also quoted as saying. "After what was done by the military wing in the region and elsewhere I would say, there should be some reaction."
Mr Linkevicius was referring to deadly attacks allegedly organized by Hezbollah last year in Bulgaria- which the group denies- as well as the fact the organization is fighting alongside Bashar al-Assad's government in Syria. Back in March, a Cypriot court also found a Hezbollah member guilty of trying to plan attacks on Israelis on the island, another reason why the EU was galvanized into blacklisting the organization.