U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today sent a letter to senior European Union (EU) officials urging the EU to designate Hezbollah as a foreign terrorist organization. For a signed copy of the letter, please click here. Text of the letter follows:
His Excellency José Manuel Barroso
c/o Delegation of the European Union to the United States of America
2175 K Street, NW,
Washington, DC 20037
Dear Mr. President:
I write to respectfully request that the European Union designate Hezbollah as a foreign terrorist organization under a revised Council Common Position. Reports indicate that Hezbollah was involved in the attack that killed 5 Israeli citizens in Bulgaria on July 18, 2012. Hezbollah has executed attacks in the Middle East, Europe, and Latin America, killing hundreds of people and wounding countless others. Hezbollah has also claimed responsibility for kidnappings of United States and Israeli citizens, as well as French, British, German, and Russian diplomats. This organization clearly serves as a model for other U.S. and European designated foreign terrorist organizations.
Absent EU designation of Hezbollah as a foreign terrorist organization, Hezbollah has been able to operate, recruit, plan, train, and fundraise through Europe. The EU has designated a number of other violent Islamist groups, including Hamas, as foreign terrorist organizations, while thus far failing to designate Hezbollah. Meanwhile, Hezbollah has provided training, financing and weapons to organizations on the European Union list, including Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. And the Iranian regime's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has long used Hezbollah as a proxy to fund, arm, and train violent extremists responsible for the deaths of U.S. soldiers, Iraqi citizens, and others.
Cooperation between the United States and European Union is essential to combating the threat posed by foreign terrorist organizations. I respectfully request that the EU act now to formally designate Hezbollah as a foreign terrorist organization under a revised Council Common Position.
Thank you for your consideration of this request.