US praises Serbia for designating Hezbollah a terror group

The US State Department praised Serbia on Sunday for its decision to designate Lebanon’s Shiite Iran-backed Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organization, news wires reported. Move by Belgrade was said to be part of US-brokered deal with Kosovo reached earlier this month. Pristina has already recognized both the military and political wings of Hezbollah as a terror group in June.

 

The United States and Israel have long designated Hezbollah a terrorist group and have urged allies to follow suit. In the European Union Lithuania and Germany have heeded that call, as well as the UK. Many other countries draw a distinction between the group’s military wing and its political wing, which is a major force in Lebanese politics.

In a statement on Sunday, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Serbia’s move was “another significant step limiting this Iranian backed terrorist group’s ability to operate in Europe. He also called on the European Union and European countries to designate or ban the group in its entirety, and recognize the reality that it is a terrorist organization root and branch with no distinction between its so-called ‘military’ and ‘political’ wings. In the statement Pompeo urged all countries in Europe and elsewhere to take whatever action they can to prevent Hezbollah operatives, recruiters, and financiers from operating on their territories.

 

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