Lebanon to ask EU not to name Hezbollah terrorist

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Associated Press

Posted on July 18, 2013 at 11:32 AM

Updated Thursday, Jul 18 at 11:35 AM

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon will ask the European Union not to name the militant Hezbollah group a terrorist organization.

A statement released by President Michel Suleiman's office Thursday says Hezbollah is a "main component of Lebanese society."

The EU is reassessing whether to declare Hezbollah's military wing a terrorist organization, a move it has long avoided despite U.S pressure.

The move was bolstered by Germany's policy change after long resisting calls to list Hezbollah for fear it could destabilize Lebanon.

Germany said it was pushed toward declaring Hezbollah a terror group by the 2012 attack in the Black Sea resort of Burgas in Bulgaria.

On Wednesday, Bulgaria's interior minister said new evidence has bolstered its case implicating Hezbollah in the bus bombing that killed five Israeli tourists, the bus driver and alleged attacker.

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