Egypt FM: Arab League labeled Hezbollah ‘acts’ terrorist, not group

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Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry stated Sunday that the recent Arab League resolution had labeled certain “acts” by Hezbollah as terrorist and not the entire organization.

“The Arab League resolution must be read carefully, seeing as it described certain acts rather than bestowed a certain label on Hezbollah as a whole,” Shoukry said in an interview with Egypt’s al-Youm al-Sabeh newspaper.

Asked whether or not Hezbollah is a “terrorist” group, the minister added: “I will not give a judgment. Hezbollah has a special status in Lebanon, and Lebanon is a brotherly country that is going through a major turbulent situation at the domestic level.”

“This issue must be resolved by the Lebanese people,” Shoukry went on to say.

The Arab League’s resolution followed a similar one by the Saudi-led Gulf Cooperation Council that labeled Hezbollah a “terrorist” group.

In January, GCC member Bahrain said it had dismantled a “terror” cell allegedly linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah.

Saudi Arabia and fellow Gulf nations accuse Iran of supporting Shiite rebels in Yemen, as well as attempting to destabilize their own regimes.

They also denounce its alliance with the Syrian regime and Hezbollah while they support rebels who have been fighting since 2011 to topple the Damascus government and President Bashar Assad.

The Arab and Gulf decisions came days after Saudi Arabia in February halted a $3 billion program for military supplies to Lebanon in protest against Hezbollah.

Announcing the funding cut, a Saudi official said at the time that the kingdom noticed “hostile Lebanese positions resulting from the stranglehold of Hezbollah on the State.”

The United States, Canada and Australia have listed Hezbollah as a “terrorist” group while the European Union has only blacklisted its military wing.

Source: Naharnet