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Kosovo designates Hezbollah a terrorist organisation

File photo of Hezbollah's troops
Hezbollah's troops, 15 April 2016 [Anadolu Agency]

The Republic of Kosovo has decided to designate both the political and military wings of Hezbollah a terrorist organisation, the country’s Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti announced in a tweet on Tuesday.

“The Government of Kosovo supports all global initiatives peace and security in the world, so today, we decided unanimously to declare the Hezbollah organization, its political and military wings, a terrorist organization in the territory of the Republic of Kosovo!” Hoti wrote.

While Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Diaspora Meliza Haradinaj said: “#Kosovo Government decided to declare both the political & military wings of #Hezbollah, a terrorist organization in the territory of the Republic of [Kosovo]. This decision contributes to protect & advance national, regional & global security interests”.

The Kosovan government designated Hezbollah’s military wing a terrorist organisation last year and has extended the designation to include the party’s political wing after a proposal from the Ministry of Foreign affairs.

Most European nations differentiate between Hezbollah’s military and political wings, in line with the European Union’s (EU) 2013 policy which considers only the group’s military wing, not its political arm, a terrorist organisation.

READ: Hezbollah working to destroy Lebanon’s banking system, will face new sanctions: US official

In recent years, however, several states have broken away from the EU consensus and designated the entire organisation a terrorist group.

The Austrian Parliament called on the government to take steps to designate the entire organisation a terrorist group. While both the UK and the Netherlands already consider both the military and political wings of Hezbollah terrorist organisations.

Most recently, Germany designated the Lebanese group a “Shia terrorist organisation” and conducted raids on mosques and associations linked to the group across the country.

Hezbollah leader, Hassan Nasrallah, who has claimed the two wings of the organisation are intertwined and cannot be separated, termed the move a “political decision that reflects Germany’s submission to American’s will and to pleasing Israel”.

Nevertheless, Nasrallah has said he is expecting more EU countries to follow Germany’s lead, despite claiming the organisation ceased activities “across the world, and in Europe especially” several years ago, in a televised speech in early May.

The US and Canada have already designated the entire organisation a terrorist entity, with the US offering millions of dollars as rewards for information about prominent Hezbollah figures.

READ: Hezbollah threatens Israel with precision guided missiles

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