GCC debates putting Hezbollah on terror list
A meeting of foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states on Sunday will examine a proposal to place Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement on the list of terrorist organisations in light of its recent activities.
The move to designate Hezbollah a terror entity comes amid accusations, mainly by Bahrain, that it has been engaged in activities undermining stability and security in the region. Bahrain this week barred all political formations in the kingdom from maintaining any form of contact with the Hezbollah.
It may be recalled that Bahrain’s parliament in March voted to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organisation, and the decision was endorsed by the government, making Bahrain the first Arab country to blacklist the group.
Bahrain’s foreign minister Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa, who will chair the GCC meeting, this week labelled Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah a terrorist on his Twitter account.
The meeting of the foreign ministers of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE will also discuss a unified Gulf security framework, an apt response to the relentless Iranian threats and the espionage networks busted in the Gulf, Kuwaiti daily Al Rai reported on Thursday, quoting sources it did not name.
“There is serious GCC interest in what is happening in Syria and the issue will be at the top of the agenda of the talks,” the sources said. “The public admission by Hezbollah of its interference in the fighting in the Syrian city of Al Qusayr requires the GCC member states to discuss the issue and study its repercussions,” the sources said ahead of the 127th GCC meeting in the Red Sea city of Jeddah.
Bahrain in December had hosted the annual GCC summit. “This is a highly significant meeting taking place in the middle of quick changes and fast-paced events in the region that requires unified positions and stances,” said Abdul Lateef Al Zayani, the GCC secretary-general, referring to the latest meeting of the bloc.
“The meeting will discuss matters related to the progress of the common Gulf action and will be preceded by a meeting with the finance and economy ministers,” Al Zayani said. Negotiations with other economic blocs and the latest regional, Arab and international developments will figure on the agenda, he added.