Lithuania recognizes Hezbollah as a terrorist organization

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People affiliated with Hezbollah have been banned from entering Lithuania for 10 years.

Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, escorted by his bodyguards, greets his supporters at an anti-US protest in Beirut's southern suburbs, Lebanon September 17, 2012 (photo credit: REUTERS/SHARIF KARIM/FILE PHOTO)

Lebanon’s Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, escorted by his bodyguards, greets his supporters at an anti-US protest in Beirut’s southern suburbs, Lebanon September 17, 2012

(photo credit: REUTERS/SHARIF KARIM/FILE PHOTO)

The Lithuanian government has designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, it announced Thursday.

“Having taken into consideration the information acquired by our institutions and partners, we may conclude that ‘Hezbollah’ uses terrorist means that pose a threat to the security of a significant number of countries, including Lithuania,” Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius said in a statement. “We stand together with the United States of America, Germany, United Kingdom, Netherlands, as well as other countries that had reached the same conclusion.”

“We appreciate the successful cooperation between the Lithuanian and Israeli national security agencies,” he said. “We are thankful to these institutions for their significant work in helping ensure the safety of our citizens. It is important to note that we support the peaceful people of Lebanon and their wish for their country to implement necessary reforms.”

After the announcement, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi spoke with Linkevičius and congratulated him on his government’s decision.

גבי אשכנזי – Gabi Ashkenazi (@Gabi_Ashkenazi) August 13, 2020

“Hezbollah is a terrorist organization that has controlled terror in large parts of Lebanon and turned them into Iranian-protected areas while taking Lebanese citizens, its economy and its political system hostage,” he said.“This is a courageous and important decision to maintain regional stability,” Ashkenazi said. “I call on all European countries to join the decision and understand that this is a dangerous and unstoppable terrorist organization that continues its attempts to carry out terrorist attacks around the world on Iran’s mission and funding.”He thanked “the Foreign Ministry and the defense establishment who led the interagency activity to complete the move.”Hezbollah-affiliated people have been banned from entering Lithuania for 10 years. Lithuania’s Migration Department made the decision based on information about Hezbollah-affiliated people that posed a threat to Lithuanian national security interests, it said.Lithuania provided €50,000 of humanitarian assistance to Lebanon following the explosion in Beirut Port last week.

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