The European Union has flatly rejected an Israeli call to blacklist Hezbollah as a terrorist group, saying there is no such agreement among the bloc’s member states.
“There is no consensus for putting Hezbollah on the list of terrorist organizations,” Cypriot Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, whose country currently holds the rotating EU presidency, said on Tuesday.
Israel’s hawkish Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman made the request for blacklisting the Lebanese resistance movement while sitting alongside the Cypriot minister at a news conference held after annual EU-Israel talks.
“The time has come to put Hezbollah on the terrorist list of Europe,” Lieberman urged. “It would give the right signal to the international community and the Israeli people.”
But Kozakou-Marcoullis highlighted Hezbollah’s active role as a political party, stating that the EU would consider the move if there were tangible evidence of Hezbollah engaging in acts of terror.
Lieberman’s call comes days after the sixth anniversary of Israel’s war against Lebanon in July 2006, a 33-day conflict which ended in Hezbollah’s victory and heavy losses on the Israeli side.
This raised serious questions about Tel Aviv’s long-boasted military capabilities and forced several Israeli commanders to resign over their poor handling of the war.
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