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The League of Arab States formally branded Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group as a terrorist organization on Friday, March 11, 2016. This decision was made during a meeting of the League’s foreign ministers in Cairo.
The statement was included in the meeting’s final communiqué. The move was approved by all of the members of the League, with the exception of Iraq and Lebanon. These two states, as indicated in the communiqué, expressed “reservations” in deeming Hezbollah terrorists. Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia and the Saudi-led Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) also labeled the militant group as a terror organization. The bloc’s secretary general, Abdel Latif al-Zayani, asserted, “All leaders of Hezbollah are recognized as terrorists, all the cells controlled by the group as terrorist organizations”. The decisions of the Arab League and Gulf Cooperation Council ramp up the pressure on militant Hezbollah, which is currently fighting on the side of President Bashar Assad in Syria. This latest development comes less than two weeks after Saudi Arabia cut $4 billion in aid that it had been providing to Lebanese security forces.