The European Union, under pressure from the international community and on the heels of a formal request from Britain, is poised to add Hezbollah to its list of terror groups.
Agence France-Presse reported that Britain formally had petitioned the EU to blacklist the group, a Shiite militant movement headquartered in Lebanon. Israel and the United States — both of which list Hezbollah as a terrorist group — long have sought the listing, and the EU has planned a discussion of the matter in June, diplomats said to AFP.
Adding Hezbollah to the EU's terrorist organization list requires the unanimous consent of member groups. Some members — most notably, France — have been reluctant to take the step. Concerns are that listing Hezbollah as a terror group could lead to the further destabilization of Lebanon.
Right now, only two EU members — the Netherlands and Britain — list Hezbollah as a terrorist group, Ynet reported. In April, Bahrain joined the call. Parliament members voted unanimously to designate Hezbollah as a terror group and, in so doing, ratcheted pressure on the EU to do the same.
"It is time we join the world in outlawing this group, which has terrorized the region enough and has been instrumental in spreading evil among us," said Bahrain lawmaker Shaikh Jassim Al Saeedi, as the Heritage Foundation reported.
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