Ros-Lehtinen Encouraged By Gulf Nations’ Pledge To Designate Hezbollah A Terrorist Organization; Urges GCC To Do More To Combat Terror Financing

Mar 2, 2016

Ros-Lehtinen Encouraged By Gulf Nations’ Pledge To Designate Hezbollah A Terrorist Organization; Urges GCC To Do More To Combat Terror Financing

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, made the following statement after the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) pledged to designate Hezbollah a terrorist organization. Hezbollah has been on the U.S. designated foreign terrorist organizations (FTO) list since 1997. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:

“I’m encouraged to see Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and the rest of the GCC bloc pledge to designate Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy, as a terrorist organization. This decision reminds us all of the immediate threat Iran and its proxies pose to its neighboring countries as well as our own national security interests. From helping to prop up Assad in Syria, to further destabilizing Lebanon and even attempting to grow their presence in Latin America, Iran and its proxy, Hezbollah, have shown that their nefarious activities know no bounds.

“However, I would also urge the members of the GCC to do more to combat terror financing. Qatar and Kuwait have become permissive jurisdictions for this sort of activity, which helps finance al-Qaeda, ISIS, Hamas and other U.S. designated FTOs. In many cases, the financiers of these extremist groups are provided legal impunity, despite U.S. designations and sanctions, and some nations even allow Hamas, al-Qaeda and other members of these FTOs to live or travel within their borders. If we are to have any success in our counterterror operations, then we must ensure that we are targeting all extremist groups and their supporters.

“I know the GCC desires a peaceful and stable region, and I hope we can continue to count on its support to root out all of these extremist groups. But today’s designation of Hezbollah is a good start and I hope the GCC will build on this action by sanctioning these other FTOs.”

 

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