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Bahrain Wants Hezbollah Listed as Terrorist Group - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Shi'ite, Sunni Muslim and Druze Lebanese clerics listen to Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah addressing his supporters during a rally to commemorate Martyrs' Day in Beirut. (R)

Shi’ite, Sunni Muslim and Druze Lebanese clerics listen to Lebanon’s Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah addressing his supporters during a rally to commemorate Martyrs’ Day in Beirut. (R)

Manama, Asharq Al-Awsat—On Sunday, the Kingdom of Bahrain took a new step towards classifying Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, with the Bahraini government—at its weekly meeting—discussing a proposal submitted by the council of representatives last Wednesday to place the Lebanese party on its list of terrorist groups.

Samira Rajab, minister of state for media affairs and a spokeswoman for the Bahraini government, confirmed that the meeting, headed by Prime Minister Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, discussed the proposal on Hezbollah, which was put forth by Bahraini MPs. The proposal was then forwarded on to the kingdom’s internal and foreign ministries, in order to follow up and develop the necessary legal framework to implement it, in cooperation with the legislative authority.

Rajab, speaking in response to a question by Asharq Al-Awsat, said, “We are following international standards in this regard and we will apply them to protect Bahrain from the risk of terrorist organizations.”

On Sunday, the Bahraini government spokeswomen appeared before members of the local and international media, and spoke about a variety of issues ranging from the ongoing national dialogue to economic affairs and security incidents.

Returning to the issue of Hezbollah, the Bahraini government stressed that it is keen to protect its country’s internal front from external interference, especially from terrorist organizations that not only constitute a threat to Bahrain with their subversive acts, but to all member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

The Bahraini MPs who submitted the request to classify Hezbollah as a terrorist organization released a statement supporting their move. They claimed that their request came as a result of “Iranian-backed Hezbollah’s increased activities, flagrantly interfering in the internal affairs of the countries of the region, becoming Tehran’s arm to export its revolution.”
Although Bahrain’s latest step came during the visit of Canada’s foreign minister John Baird, who has encouraged Manama to move forward in its steps to classify Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, Rajab rejected any link between the step taken by the Bahraini government and American pressure. She said, “The American initiative to place Hezbollah on the terrorism list has failed to get off the ground. Bahrain is genuinely suffering from these terrorist organizations.”

Rajab considers the step taken by Bahrain on Sunday to be a step forward to protect the internal security of the kingdom from the danger of terrorist organizations. She added, “What happened is a step in the right direction, namely to do what is necessary towards these dangerous terrorist organizations.” Rajab concluded by saying that Bahrain will benefit from international experience in this regard.