Report: Britain 'Excludes' Hizbullah Ministers from Cooperation with Lebanon
Although Britain affirmed its continued cooperation with the Lebanese government, it has reportedly affirmed that it will “exclude” Hizbullah ministers from this cooperation, Asharq al-Awast reported on Wednesday.
Apart from the recent decision to include Hizbullah's military and political wings on its lists of terrorist organizations, Britain is “committed” to helping Lebanon by enabling the Lebanese army to control the border, continue to provide military assistance to the security forces, and continue its assistance to the Syrian refugees and the Lebanese government, said the newspaper.
The daily quoted western diplomatic sources, they said Britain's decision to “exclude Hizbullah ministers from its cooperation with Lebanon will not affect cooperation with the Lebanese government."
They stressed that “London's relations with the Lebanese government, presidency and parliament are committed to continuing cooperation with the institutions”, but at the same time, confirmed that “this approach excludes Hizbullah ministers in the government.”
They said Britain regards “Lebanon as having full sovereignty,” but they stressed that the British decision towards Hizbullah “does not mean in any way that it is directed against the Shiite community in Lebanon.”
The British aid program in Lebanon “does not exclude any sect,” they assured.
Hizbullah made electoral gains in Lebanon last year and now has three ministers in the government including: Health Minister Jamil Jabaq, Youth and Sports Minister Mohammed Fneish and State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Mahmoud Kmati.
Late in February, Britain banned the political wing of Hizbullah, making membership of the movement or inviting support for it a crime.
The decision followed outrage over the display of the Hizbullah flag, which features a Kalashnikov assault rifle, at pro-Palestinian demonstrations in London.