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Lebanon - Hezbollah (Q&A - Excerpt from the daily press briefing - May 23, 2013)

Q : minister stated yesterday evening that France wanted the military branch of Hezbollah to be included on the EU list of terrorist groups.

What’s the reason for clarifying this position?

Aren’t you concerned that this could destabilize Lebanon?

Can you reaffirm the procedure and the next steps at the EU?

Do you think that a decision could now be taken by the end of June?

A : I would like to reaffirm the minister of foreign affairs’ comments on this issue yesterday, “France’s position is that the military branch of Hezbollah should be included on the list […]. You’ve seen that not only is Hezbollah heavily involved in Syria but that it has declared its commitment. Since there are in addition other elements concerning events in Bulgaria and Cyprus, we believe that this is something that should be agreed upon by all Europeans.

Regarding the second question, France is attached to Lebanon’s stability and its relations with all Lebanese communities. We urge all Lebanese parties to uphold the commitments made in the Baabda Declaration of June 15, 2012, aimed at disassociating Lebanon from the war in Syria. By intervening on a massive scale in Syria, Hezbollah departs from this consensus. Syria’s war is not Lebanon’s war. Importing it to Lebanon jeopardizes its stability, as shown by the increased tensions in the country.

The implementation procedure is standard. The discussion first of all takes place within the framework of the Council’s relevant technical groups on the basis of proposals from one or several member states. The decision then rests with the Council, at the level of the foreign ministers. In this respect, the decisions must be taken unanimously. A decision could be adopted by the end of June, but that will depend on whether a consensus on this proposal is reached in Brussels.



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