Middle East

Peres urges EU to put Hezbollah on terror list

In this April 5, 2011 file photo Israeli President Shimon Peres speaks to members of the media outside White House in Washington following his meeting with President Barack Obama. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

JERUSALEM: Israeli President Shimon Peres on Thursday made a fresh call for the European Union to put Lebanon's Hezbollah on its terror blacklist, after Syrian rebels claimed the group had fired across the border at Syrian villages.

Earlier this month, Bulgaria named Hezbollah as responsible for a July bombing in the seaside report of Burgas which killed five Israeli tourists and their local driver, bringing fresh calls for Hezbollah to be added to the EU blacklist.

"It has been proved that Hezbollah carried out the terror attack in Bulgaria, on European soil, and killed innocent civilians," Peres said in remarks released by his office.

"Today there is further evidence of the activities of the organisation and its Iranian dispatchers around the world, including in Cyprus and Nigeria," he added.

Peres was referring to an ongoing trial in Cyprus of a Lebanese man who has reportedly admitted belonging to Hezbollah, and who is suspected of planning attacks on Israeli targets.

He was also alluding to Nigeria's announcement late on Wednesday that it had arrested of three men who were allegedly spying for Iran and gathering information on potential Israeli and US targets in Lagos.

"It is time that all countries of the world -- especially the European Union -- put Hezbollah on the list or terror organisations," Peres said.

Washington has asked also Brussels to blacklist Hezbollah but such a move would have to be agreed on by all 27 member states.

"In Lebanon, (Hezbollah leader Hassan) Nasrallah, under the cloak of religion, is pushing his country toward a bloody war even though its has no enemy," he said referring to rebel claims that Hezbollah, operating from Lebanese territory, had shelled Syrian villages.

"Lebanon must decide whether it wants -- peace or fire," he said.





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