Decision on EU Hizbollah ban still ‘months away’

By Josh Jackman, June 28, 2013

The European Union may wait until late 2013 to take a third vote on whether to classify Hizbollah as a terrorist organisation.

The Lebanon-based newspaper The Daily Star reported that the Italian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Lapo Pistelli said a decision would not be made for “at least five [or] six months”.

Mr Pistelli highlighted the difficulties surrounding the motion, stating that the issue was “very sensitive”, because of the organisation’s prominent status in Lebanese politics.

“If you want to make a national unity government, [Hizbollah] cannot be left out … the Shi’ites voting for Hizbollah are such a relevant part of the country.”

The official also said that arranging a Syria peace conference, to take place in Geneva, has precedence over the Hizbollah question, saying “we have to concentrate our efforts on launching the Geneva conference. That’s the first priority.”

The proposal was brought forward by Britain after Hizbollah allegedly carried out the attack last year on a bus in the Bulgarian city of Burgas which killed five Jewish tourists.

Last updated: 11:33am, June 28 2013