BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Hezbollah official to meet EU representative

Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati meets with the European Union representative in Lebanon Angelina Eichhorst in Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, July 24, 2013. (The Daily Star/DalatiNohra, HO)

BEIRUT: Hezbollah official Ammar Musawi will meet with the European Union representative in Lebanon, a statement from Hezbollah’s press office said Wednesday, days after the EU listed the party's military wing as a terrorist organization.

Twenty-eight EU foreign ministers unanimously agreed Monday to put the military wing of Hezbollah on a terrorism blacklist. The decision was driven by concerns over the party’s alleged role in a bus bombing in Bulgaria last year and its intervention in the Syrian war.

Musawi will meet with Ambassador Angelina Eichhorst Thursday at 3:00 p.m. in Beirut’s southern suburb of Sfeir.

Musawi, who heads Hezbollah's international relations department, met Wednesday with British MP George Galloway, who said the talks between the two aimed at expressing solidarity with the Lebanese party in light of EU decision.

According to Hezbollah's office, Galloway described the move as “stupid and contradictory.”

The British lawmaker also praised Hezbollah's political role in Lebanon, its efforts at preserving stability in the country, and the party’s relationship with United Nations peacekeepers in south Lebanon.

The Hezbollah official also met with a Belgian Foreign Ministry delegation accompanied by the Belgian Ambassador to Lebanon Colette Taquet.

Musawi and the delegation discussed the conflict in Syria and agreed that dialogue was the only solution to the two-year-old crisis. They also spoke about the conditions of Syrian refugees in Lebanon and the need to exert more efforts to address this situation.

Eichhorst said Tuesday the EU would work with any Lebanese government even if Hezbollah is part of it.

Prime Minister Najib Mikati said during talks with Eichhorst Wednesday that the EU should reconsider its decision to blacklist Hezbollah.

“I hope that the European Union will reconsider its decision for the sake of Lebanon’s interests and what best preserves the country’s internal stability,” Mikati said after meeting the EU ambassador at the Grand Serail.

Mikati also said that Beirut would contact European diplomats to get a clarification over the implications of the recent EU decision.

In separate talks former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, Eichhorst explained the reasoning behind the EU's decision and its future repercussions, according to the Sidon MP’s office.

Siniora also met separately with U.N. official Derek Plumbly and the two also discussed the designation.

Meanwhile, Speaker Nabih Berri, during his weekly meeting with lawmakers, reiterated his rejection to the move by the European Union.

"The [EU] decision is not based on any judgment and it hurts the [European] Union as well as Lebanon and serves in the first degree Israel," Berri was quoted by MPs as saying.

 

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