Former Lebanese PM warns of consequences of Hezbollah blacklist
Hezbollah militants hold a rally in Baalbek, eastern Lebanon (AFP/File)
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The recent decision by the European Union to blacklist Hezbollah’s “military wing” poses risks to Lebanon, former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said over the weekend.
“Although the [EU officials] are saying that their decision is only a political message [to Hezbollah] we should be careful because [the decision] poses high risks to Lebanon,” Siniora said Saturday during a visit to Hammoud Hospital in the southern city of Sidon.
Siniora, who heads the Future parliamentary bloc, urged Hezbollah to end its interference in other countries’ affairs because it was such involvement that led to the EU decision.
“We have concerns and we regret the reasons that led the European Union to take the decision of listing Hezbollah’s so-called military wing on its terror list, especially given that we in Lebanon have solid ties of friendship with the 28 European countries,” he said.
“No one in the country would have wanted that to happen but it was clear that what led to such a decision was due to the expansion Hezbollah’s so-called military wing outside Lebanon and its interference in the affairs of other countries,” the Sidon MP said.
“This is why [Hezbollah] should end such involvement, which is harmful to Lebanon’s interests,” he said.
The EU’s 28 member states voted unanimously earlier this week to list the military wing of Hezbollah as a terrorist group. The decision was linked to Hezbollah’s alleged involvement in the deadly 2012 attack in Bulgaria that killed five Israeli tourists. Hezbollah denies involvement in the bombing.
Siniora warned that the group could be linked to incidents in other parts of the world.
“We heard that further information will be revealed to the international public opinion. It seems that other things have also happened in other countries,” he said.
Hezbollah has described the EU decision as “unjust,” accusing the European organization of giving Israel a pretext to launch aggression against Lebanon.