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UK to Lebanon: Ban Hezbollah in exchange for aid

Supporters of Lebanon's Shia movement Hezbollah gather near a giant poster of their leader Hassan Nasrallah during a ceremony to mark Ashura on 20 September 2018 in Beirut [Anwar Amro/AFP/Getty Images]
Supporters of Lebanon's Hezbollah gather near a poster of their leader Hassan Nasrallah during a ceremony to mark Ashura on 20 September 2018 in Beirut [Anwar Amro/AFP/Getty Images]

UK ordered Lebanese development bodies to ban both the political and military wings of Hezbollah in order to continue receiving economic aid, Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar reported yesterday.

In a document dated February, the UK Ministry of International Development said: “The British government is dedicated to expand its ban on Hezbollah to include its political and military wing; therefore, anybody who is to benefit or cooperate with us must ban political and military wing and members of Hezbollah.”

The letter, which noted that Hezbollah’s sovereignty has widely increased in the Arab region, stated that dealing with Hezbollah or joining it is a punishable crime in the UK.

The letter also noted that Britain is no longer able to distinguish between the military and political wings of Hezbollah.

Hezbollah’s military wing was blacklisted by London as a terrorist organisation in 2008 and in February this year, London banned its military wing and ruled that promoting its activity or membership is a crime punishable by more than ten years in prison.

READ: Lebanon accuses Israel of threatening civilian infrastructure 

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