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UK urges EU to classify Hezbollah military wing as terrorist group

JTA

September 11, 2012 | 9:17 am

British Foreign Secretary William Hague in Nicosia, Cyprus, on Sept. 7. Photo by REUTERS/Andreas Manolis

British Foreign Secretary William Hague in Nicosia, Cyprus, on Sept. 7. Photo by REUTERS/Andreas Manolis

Britain's Foreign Minister William Hague urged the European Union to place Hezbollah’s military wing on its list of terrorist organizations.

Reuters quoted Hague as saying on Sept. 7 in Cyprus, "I would like to see the EU designate and sanction the military wing of Hezbollah." Hague was in Paphos for a two-day informal meeting of EU foreign ministers.

Hague said it was time for the EU to revisit the issue.

Earlier last week, Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal said the EU should put Hezbollah on the terror list, a move that would enable the bloc to freeze the group's assets in Europe.  The Netherlands is the only country in the EU to list Hezbollah and its branches as a terror entity. Britain views only the military wing as a terrorist group.

Some EU countries reportedly are resisting the classification, most notably France. But the EU position might change if Bulgaria’s investigation into the Burgas bombing of an Israeli tour bus confirms that Hezbollah was behind the attack with its sponsor, Iran.

On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a joint news conference in Jerusalem with his Bulgarian counterpart, Boyko Borissov.

“We know that you stand with us against terror because terror is indivisible and the battle against terrorism must be indivisible, and the victims of terrorism include, as in this case, Israelis and Bulgarians,” Netanyahu told the visiting Bulgarian leader.

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