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Rubio, Shaheen Introduce Resolution Urging The European Union To Designate Hizballah As A Terrorist Organization

Jun 6, 2016 | Press Releases

The Resolution Also Urges The European Union to Increase Pressure on the Organization to the Fullest Extent Possible 

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) today introduced a resolution urging the European Union (EU) to designate Hizballah in its entirety as a terrorist organization. Currently, the EU has only designated Hizballah’s so-called military wing as a terrorist organization. The resolution also urges the EU to increase pressure on the group through facilitating better cross-border cooperation between EU member states to combat Hizballah, issuing arrest warrants against Hizballah members and active supporters, freezing Hizballah’s assets in Europe, and prohibiting fundraising activities in support of Hizballah. Original cosponsors of the bill include Senators Ed Markey (D-MA), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Chris Coons (D-DE), and Mark Kirk (R-IL).

“Hizballah is a terrorist organization and tool of Iran that threatens America’s security and that of our allies in the Middle East, especially Israel,” said Rubio. “The sanctions against Hizballah that Senator Shaheen and I passed last year are starting to take effect, but we need the entire international community to speak with one voice and recognize Hizballah for what they are: terrorists. I encourage the European Union to make its position clear that Hizballah is a terrorist organization that won’t be tolerated and that will actively work with the U.S. to choke off its financing.”

“Hizballah has blood on its hands and remains an ever-present threat to the security of our nation and our allies,” said Shaheen. “Hizballah has demonstrated through indiscriminate violence that it is a terrorist organization and should be broadly recognized as such by the international community. Our resolution urges our friends in the European Union to join us in applying this additional pressure on Hizballah’s entire network.”

Senators Shaheen and Rubio previously worked together to block financing to the terrorist organization through the “Hizballah International Financing Prevention Act of 2015,” a bill sponsored by Shaheen and Rubio that was signed into law by President Obama in December 2015.

In March 2016 the Gulf Cooperation Council and League of Arab States separately designated Hizballah in its entirety as a terrorist organization.  In April 2016, Senators Rubio and Shaheen sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew advocating for full implementation of the Hizballah International Financing Prevention Act of 2015 and seeking broader designation of Hizballah as a terrorist organization.