Fletcher to Nasrallah: Blacklisting Hizbullah Not Excuse for Israeli Action in Lebanonإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
British Ambassador to Lebanon Tom Fletcher denied on Wednesday that blacklisting Hizbullah is a justification for Israeli action in the country.
“Blacklisting Hizbullah's military wing is not a justification for Israeli action in Lebanon, but it meant to deter the party's action in Europe,” Fletcher tweeted shortly after the party chief's speech on Wednesday.
Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah had said during an iftar banquet that the European Union's decision means it would share responsibility for any Israeli attack against Lebanon or Hizbullah.
"These (European) states have made themselves fully responsible for any Israeli attack on Lebanon or Lebanon's resistance (Hizbullah) or any target of the resistance," he stated.
"These states need to know... that they are giving legal cover to Israel for any attack on Lebanon, because Israel can now claim to be fighting terrorism and to be bombing terrorist targets," he added.
The decision to blacklist Hizbullah's armed wing "gives Israel a service for free", Nasrallah considered.
"This decision does not affect our willingness. Its objective is to make us bow, to force us to step back and to be afraid. But I tell you (Europeans): all you will get is failure and disappointment," said Nasrallah.
EU foreign ministers on Monday decided to put the military wing of the Hizbullah on its list of terrorist organizations despite Lebanon warning against such a move.
However, EU representatives assured that they plan on continuing dialogue with different factions in Lebanon, including the blacklisted party.
UK Foreign Secretary William Hague had welcomed the EU's decision.
“In reaching this agreement, the EU has sent a clear message that it stands united against terrorism. It shows that no organization can carry out terrorist acts on European soil, such as the appalling attack in Bulgaria one year ago, without facing the consequences. European nations have rightly come together in response.
“Designation will do nothing to affect the EU’s and the UK’s strong relationship with, and support for, Lebanon. As we have shown by our recent large increases in security and humanitarian assistance to Lebanon, the UK remains deeply committed to Lebanon’s stability.”
He noted: "We will have to distinguish as best we can between the group's various parts.”
“Hizbullah has a political role in Lebanon, but violence... is unacceptable.”