EU Members Unanimously Agree to Blacklist Hezbollah as a Terrorist Organization

EBBW VALE, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 07: A car passes a European Union funding sign on the newly opened A465 near Ebbw Vale on March 7, 2016 in Blaenau Gwent, Wales. The West Wales and the Valleys region, which covers 15 local authority areas, has been identified as the poorest region in the whole of north Western Europe, with large swathes of Wales poorer than parts of Bulgaria, Romania and Poland and four-and-a-half times less prosperous than central London, highlighting the fact that the UK now has Europe's highest inequality of wealth within the European Union. To address this, from 2014 to 2020, Wales will benefit from around £1.8bn EU European Structural Funds investment which comprises funding from two separate European Structural Funds: the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF). The ERDF funds are used for a range of things including urban development, research and innovation, competitiveness, use of renewable energy and energy efficiency, connectivity and urban development. The ESF funds are to be directed to tackling poverty through more sustainable employment, increasing skills and tackling youth unemployment in the region. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
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The European Union agreed Monday to add the military wing of Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite militant group and political party, to its official list of terrorist organizations. The decision, which required the unanimous consent of the bloc’s 28 members, will have concrete results: it's expected to result in individual travel bans and asset freezes of affiliated organizations. The members of the EU now join Israel, the Netherlands, and the United States in listing Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

Hezbollah has played an important and instrumental role in the Lebanese government since 2011, and has been supporting Syria's President Bashar Assad forces in their military campaign against the rebel-held areas. It's role in the conflict in Syria, (as well as it alleged involvement in last July's attack in Bulgaria that killed five Israelis and their driver), increased support among EU members for the sanctions.

The decision also comes in the wake of the EU's backing of John Kerry and his efforts to revive peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders. At the end of his trip, Secretary of State John Kerry announced Friday that the two sides had "reached an agreement that establishes a basis for direct final status negotiations." A "cheerful-looking Kerry" said that he expects for initial talks to begin in the next week or so, but Israeli and Palestinian citizens are still skeptical

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