Serbia to designate Hezbollah as terror group, drawing US praise

The US State Department is praising Serbia for its decision to designate the Iran-backed Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

The move “is another significant step limiting this Iranian backed terrorist group’s ability to operate in Europe. This important action was announced as part of the historic commitments President Trump secured on a wide range of economic normalization issues between Serbia and Kosovo, coupled with the steps both nations are taking to help achieve peace in the Middle East,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says in a statement.

“There is no doubt that the dominoes are falling on Hizballah’s European operations, where it has continued to plot terrorist attacks, procure military technology, and raise much needed funding.

“The United States continues to call on the European Union and European nations to designate or ban Hizballah in its entirety, and recognize the reality that it is a terrorist organization root and branch with no distinction between its so-called ‘military’ and ‘political’ wings.  We urge all countries in Europe and elsewhere to take whatever action they can to prevent Hizballah operatives, recruiters, and financiers from operating on their territories.”

Earlier this month, the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement saying that Israel will establish diplomatic relations with Serbia and Kosovo, and both will set up embassies in Jerusalem.

The arrangement was apparently a part of an agreement between Kosovo and Serbia brokered by the US administration. Serbia and Kosovo — regional rivals that don’t recognize each other — each signed separate agreements with the US regarding the normalization of economic relations between the two Balkan countries.

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