Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird is calling on the 27-member European Union to join Canada in recognizing Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.
“Hezbollah… killed over 300 soldiers and civilians with the 1983 suicide bombings of the U.S. and French barracks in Beirut. In 1985, it hijacked Trans World Airlines Flight 847, killing a U.S. serviceman and dumping his body on the tarmac, and then holding the other passengers hostage for two weeks. In 2011, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon indicted Hezbollah members for their involvement in the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri… There are strong indications that Hezbollah was behind the July, 2012 bombing of a tourist bus in Burgas, Bulgaria, killing one Bulgarian and five Israelis,” Baird wrote in an April 11 column for the National Post.
So far among Western nations, only Canada, the U.S. and the Netherlands have designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, and France recently expressed the intent to join those countries. Additionally, Bahrain this week became the first Arab nation to blacklist Hezbollah.
Baird also highlighted that Hezbollah has been known for assisting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, under which nearly 70,000 people have been killed during the country’s civil war. “It is time for the EU to stand up with its allies and designate Hezbollah for what it is, and thereby remind the world that terrorism will not be tolerated, neither at home nor abroad,” Baird wrote.