Lebanon on UK’s Plan to Ban Hezbollah: ‘Resistance Is Not Terrorism’

Middle East

On Monday, the UK announced it would ban Hezbollah’s political wing as a terrorist organisation, following a decade-old ban on its military wing. It comes despite Hezbollah fighting against jihadists in Syria for many years, with Britain saying that the movement had sought to “destabilise” the balance of power in the Middle East.

Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil has commented that the UK’s decision to extend its ban on Hezbollah would not affect its relations with Lebanon, despite Hezbollah having a role in the country’s government.

Bassil said, as quoted by AFP, that senior British officials had agreed the issue should not have an “impact on bilateral relationships between Lebanon and Britain”.

Britain’s move “will not have direct negative consequences on Lebanon because we are already used to this situation with other countries”, he added.

“If the whole world stood up and said the resistance is terrorism, this does not make it terrorism as far as the Lebanese are concerned,” he said in separate comments reported by Reuters.

Hezbollah is a Shiite paramilitary and political organisation, which was founded in the 1980s and originally aimed to end Israel’s occupation of southern Lebanon. Hezbollah has been active in the Syrian war, working with the government of the country to oust terrorists throughout its territory.

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