The Lithuanian government has announced it recognises Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, praising the country’s security cooperation with Israel.
In a statement on Thursday, Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Mr. Linas Linkevičius said, “Having taken into consideration the information acquired by our institutions and partners, we may conclude that ‘Hezbollah’ uses terrorist means that pose threat to the security of a significant number of countries, including Lithuania. We stand together with the United States of America, Germany, United Kingdom, Netherlands, as well as other countries that had reached the same conclusion.”
“We appreciate the successful cooperation between the Lithuanian and Israeli national security agencies. We are thankful to these institutions for their significant work in helping ensure the safety of our citizens,” he continued. “It is important to note that we support peaceful people of Lebanon and their wish for their country to implement necessary reforms.”
Last year the UK banned the terror group in full after previously only banning its “military” arm but not its “political” wing, despite Hezbollah, by its own admission, not differentiating between the two. Earlier this year Germany became the latest country to ban the terror group, but France is yet to follow, which could be stalling the EU from imposing a similar ban.
Israel’s Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi congratulated his Lithuanian counterpart on the government’s decision.
“Hezbollah is a terrorist organization that has controlled terror in large parts of Lebanon and turned them into Iranian-protected areas while taking Lebanese citizens, its economy and its political system hostage,” said Minister Gabi Ashkenazi
I spoke with Lithuanian FM @LinkeviciusL and thanked him for the important decision to designate #Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. I call on all European countries to make similar decisions. Hezbollah's actions in Lebanon hold the entire Lebanese population hostage.
— גבי אשכנזי – Gabi Ashkenazi (@Gabi_Ashkenazi) August 13, 2020
“This is a courageous and important decision to maintain regional stability,” Ashkenazi continued. “I call on all European countries to join the decision and understand that this is a dangerous and unstoppable terrorist organization that continues its attempts to carry out terrorist attacks around the world on Iran’s mission and funding.”
He finished by thanking “the Foreign Ministry and the defense establishment who led the inter-agency activity to complete the move. “
Hezbollah-affiliated persons were banned from entering Lithuania for 10 years. The decision made by the Migration Department of the Republic of Lithuania was based on the information on the listed persons’ activities within Hezbollah posing threat to Lithuanian national security interests.
Hezbollah calls for Islamist revolution around the world, has carried out terror attacks for over 30 years, and calls for the “liberation of Jerusalem” and for the destruction of Israel. Backed by Iran, it has tens of thousands of rockets that can reach every city in Israel.
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