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Ireland’s Minister for Defense: No Reason to Distinguish Between Political, Military Arms of Hezbollah

It is not a “valid distinction” to differentiate between Hezbollah’s military and political wings, Alan Shatter, Ireland’s minister for defense, justice and equality, told the Lebanese website The Daily Star.

“I think Hezbollah is a single organization,” he continued, adding: “it doesn’t reflect … the structure of the IRA [Irish Republican Army] where the IRA, or Provisional IRA, was a military wing and Sinn Fein was a political wing.”

The minister was commenting on the emerging European Union debate over whether Hezbollah should be officially designated a terrorist organization following an investigation by Bulgarian authorities into a suicide bombing in that country last summer that pointed the finger of culpability at the Lebanese Shiite organization.

“Whether Hezbollah would be named a terrorist organization or not from a European perspective is a matter that remains to be considered by European justice ministers,” Shatter said.

Ireland, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the European Council, hosted a meeting of EU justice ministers in January during which Bulgaria briefed attendees on the progress of this investigation, Shatter added.

While condemning the attack, Shatter highlighted that it is “important … that the Bulgarian authorities complete their investigation, and that we don’t jump to conclusions.”

Shatter was in Lebanon on the first leg of a trip to the region during which he will be briefed by Lebanese, Israeli and Palestinian Arab officials.

The only EU member state that currently lists Hezbollah as a terrorist group is the Netherlands, while the United Kingdom distinguishes between Hezbollah’s political and military wings, proscribing the latter as a terrorist organization.

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Source: The Algemeiner

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Posted by on March 12, 2013. Filed under In This Week's Edition,U.S. News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.