Tunisia-The six-member Gulf Cooperation Council and the Arab Interior Ministers gathering in Tunisia declared Lebanon’s Hezbollah a “terrorist” organization on Wednesday, amplifying pressure on the Iran-allied group that exerts influence in Lebanon and plays a key role in the Syrian crisis fighting in support of Assad’s regime.
The GCC classified the organization led by Hassan Nasrallah along with all its leaders, factions and organizations affiliated to it as a terrorist organization. The council indicated that Hezbollah poses a threat to Arab national security, and that GCC states will take necessary measures to implement the decision in this regard based on anti-terrorism laws applied in the GCC and similar international laws.
GCC Secretary General Abdullatif al-Zayani explained that GCC states have taken this decision as a result of hostile acts being carried out by elements of those militias to recruit young people of GCC member states for carrying out terrorist acts, smuggling of weapons and explosives, and inciting sedition, disorder and violence in flagrant violation of their sovereignty, security and stability.
Al-Zayani added, “The GCC states consider Hezbollah militias’ practices in the Council’s states and their terrorist and subversive acts being carried out in Syria, Yemen and Iraq to contradict moral and humanitarian values and principles and the international law and pose a threat to Arab national security.”
A Saudi source told Asharq Al-Awsat that GCC classification for Hezbollah’s militias followed by a direct order from GCC leaders.
For his part, Qatari Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani told Asharq Al-Awsat that classifying Hezbollah’s militias as terrorist groups is a consensus and Qatar is part of it. He added that Qatar will deal with Hezbollah militias according to the new classification.
Arab Interior Ministers’ Council condemned the practices carried out by the terrorist group Hezbollah to destabilize security and social peace in some Arab
countries. However, Iraq distanced itself from the decision and the Lebanese Interior Minister, Nohad Mashnouq, expressed his disapproval of designating Hezbollah a “terrorist” group while drafting the recommendations of the 33rd Arab Interior Ministers Conference in Tunisia, which was held under the patronage of Tunisian President Al-Baji Qaid as-Sibsi; explaining that his opposition is out of “keenness on what is left of Lebanon’s constitutional institutions.”
Addressing the meeting, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, said the Arab nation is facing great and serious challenges targeting the security and stability of its well-being.
HRH Prince Mohammed bin Nayef pointed out to a two-pronged challenge facing the Arab nation: internal and external. Internal outlaws, who should be confronted decisively, are deviants from the correct way as they follow the devil; while the outsiders are led by greedy groups that target the destabilization of the Arab nation, threatening its well-being, trying to seize its wealth, and pushing its peoples to poverty, illness and hunger.
HRH added that these outsider outlaws are using sectarian differences in the region as well as political and economic motives.
“In case such challenges were not met with the needed firmness and decisiveness, all components of our Arab nation would face painful results,” he said.
The Crown Prince went on to say “security is the pillar for stability and progress without which imbalance would prevail, nations would be cut off and divided and rights violated. Therefore, we are holding a great responsibility and are required to spare no effort and use whatever possible capabilities to achieve the security of our Arab nation and guarantee the unity and stability of our countries.”
HRH called for more cooperation, follow-up, assessment, coordination and security integration among the relevant security authorities to maintain their readiness to face emergencies that might tamper our security with the needed strong grip.
Moreover, HRH drew the attention to the importance of facing crime at the intellectual level to thwart its behavioral effect, citing the role to be played by the religious, media, educational and social authorities in upgrading the popular conscience and awareness and unveiling criminals.