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Arab League Labels Hezbollah Terrorist Organization - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah addresses his supporters via a screen during a commemoration service marking one week since the death of Ali Fayyad, one of Hezbollah's senior commanders killed fighting alongside Syrian army forces in Syria, in Ansar village, southern Lebanon March 6, 2016. REUTERS/Aziz Taher

Lebanon’s Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah addresses his supporters via a screen during a commemoration service marking one week since the death of Ali Fayyad, one of Hezbollah’s senior commanders killed fighting alongside Syrian army forces in Syria, in Ansar village, southern Lebanon March 6, 2016. REUTERS/Aziz Taher

The Arab League has formally labelled Iran ally Hezbollah a terrorist organization on Friday, Egyptian state media said, only a week after the Gulf Cooperation Council adopted the same stance.

“The Arab League foreign minister’s committee has decided on Friday to consider Hezbollah a terrorist organization,” said a statement from the Arab League carried by Egyptian state news agency Mena.

Friday’s decision was endorsed by the majority of foreign ministers of the pan-Arab body except for Lebanon and Iraq which expressed “reservations”, said Bahraini diplomat Wahid Mubarak Sayar.

“The resolution of the League’s council (of foreign ministers) includes the designation of Hezbollah as a terrorist group,” he said reading from a statement at the Cairo headquarters of the League.

The declaration came hours after the Saudi delegation walked out of the meeting following a speech by Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari in which he defended the Shi’ite Hashd Shaabi militia grouping and Hezbollah, Reuters cited an Iraqi foreign ministry source on Friday.

However, al-Jaafari said that this stance will not affect the Iraqi-Saudi relations, noting that it is normal to have different opinions.

The Arab League meeting on Friday also condemned what it described as continued Iranian interference in the internal affairs of Bahrain, the statement said, adding that Hezbollah, along with the Iranian revolutionary guard, financed and trained terrorist groups in Bahrain.

Bahrain’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammed Mubarak Sayar said in a news conference aired on Al-Arabiya channel there was a consensus on the decision but Lebanon and Iraq had reservations about it.

Saudi’s ambassador to Egypt Ahmed Kattan appeared on Al-Arabiya saying Gulf States would be taking further measures against Hezbollah.

“We will deal with Hezbollah as we deal with any terrorist organization. Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries have begun preparing measures they will take against that terrorist party and they will be announced at the right time,” Kattan said.

The meeting also welcomed Mauritania’s offer to host the 27th Arab League Summit after Morocco had refused last month.

The Arab League meeting welcomed a French initiative calling for a global conference for peace and called for effective global measures to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

“Any resumption of future negotiations with regard to resolving the Arab-Israel conflict must be based on … a specific timetable for ending the Israeli occupation of the land of the State of Palestine,” its statement said.

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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