Mashnouq Refuses to Label Hizbullah as Terrorist during Arab Interior Ministers Meetingإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq refused on Wednesday to label Hizbullah as a terrorist organization hours after the Gulf Cooperation Council had blacklisted the party, reported LBCI television.
The minister made his objection against the closing statement of the 33rd Arab Interior Ministers Conference held in Tunisia.
The gatherers at the conference had condemned the practices of Iran and Hizbullah, describing the Lebanese party as terrorist, said al-Jazeera television.
Mashnouq had stated ahead of the conference that he will defend “all the Lebanese people.”
“Outside Lebanon, I cannot but defend all the Lebanese,” he declared.
During the conference, he told the gatherers that no one can change the identity of the Arab people, adding: “We refuse to allow Lebanon to become a thorn in the Arab world's side.”
Iraq meanwhile voiced reservations over the closing statement.
Earlier on Wednesday, the GCC labeled Hizbullah a “terrorist organization,” a day after Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah accused Saudi Arabia of pressuring Lebanon to silence his party.
The GCC cited the party's "terrorist acts and incitement in Syria, Yemen and in Iraq," which were threatening Arab security.
Tensions rose in Lebanon last week when Saudi Arabia announced that it was halting $4 billion in aid to the Lebanese army and security forces.
Its decision was followed by a travel warning and a decision to blacklist several individuals and firms over their alleged ties with Hizbullah.
Several Gulf states also issued travel advisories to Lebanon.
Saudi Arabia has linked its move to Lebanon's refusal to join the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in condemning attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran, and alleged Hizbullah "terrorist acts against Arab and Muslim nations."