GCC to impose sanctions on Hezbollah
A handout picture released by the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on June 23, 2013, shows civilians and security at the scene of a bombing in the Mazzeh 86 area of the Syrian capital Damascus. (Source: AFP/SANA)
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The Gulf Cooperation Council will hold a meeting in Riyadh on Thursday to agree the mechanisms for imposing sanctions on members of the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah, headed by Abdullatif Al-Zayani said.
GCC decided on June 10 to impose sanctions on members of Hezbollah, targeting their residency permits and their financial and business activities in reprisal for the group’s armed intervention in Syria.
The meeting, in which deputy interior ministers from GCC member states will take part, will “develop the appropriate mechanisms for applying” the June 10 decision, Al-Zayani said in comments quoted by Saudi news agency SPA.
The sanctions would be implemented “in coordination... with ministers of commerce and the central banks of the GCC,” he added, without giving further details about the precise nature of the mechanisms. Qatari authorities expelled 18 Lebanese citizens from the state on June 20, a government source in Beirut told AFP.
An estimated 360,000 Lebanese work in the Gulf, according to Lebanese daily An-Nahar, transferring some $4 billion dollars (three billion euros) annually back to the country, which has a population of just 4.1 million.
A staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Hezbollah has backed him since protests erupted in March 2011, openly declaring its military involvement in the war last month.
The Gulf states, on the other hand, back the opposition forces. The GCC has warned it might add Hezbollah to its list of terrorist groups.