FM Liberman meets with European officials in Brussels, pushes for international involvement in safeguarding Syria’s WMD; EU: No consensus yet on adding Hezbollah to terror list.
The transfer of chemical weapons from Syria to Hezbollah is a clear casus belli, and Israel will act “decisively and without hesitation or restraint,” Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said Tuesday.
Speaking at a press conference at the EU-Israel Association Council meeting in Brussels, Liberman said this would be “a completely different ballgame, and we hope for the understanding and cooperation of the international community.”
Liberman said the international community should get involved to prevent the possibility of using biological and chemical weapons.
Regarding Iran, Liberman said that after three rounds of negotiations in Istanbul, Baghdad and Moscow, the time has come to draw some conclusions.
“We cannot negotiate forever,” Liberman said. “The time will come when negotiations must end and action must begin. We have patience, we are waiting, we are anxiously monitoring these talks, but we also hope to see substantial results.”
Liberman’s comments came on the same day that the P5+1 and Iran renewed talks in Istanbul.
Liberman also called on the EU to place Hezbollah on the EU’s terror blacklist, saying “from our point of view it is unacceptable that Hezbollah terrorists meet and talk with western diplomats in Beirut on one hand, and pursue their terrorist activity on European soil on the other hand.”
Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, the foreign minister of Cyprus, which currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency, made clear to Liberman that this was not going to happen so fast.
She said that the decision to include Hezbollah on the EU’s terrorist lists requires unanimity among the EU’s 27 countries.
“The Lebanese Hezbollah comprises a political party, social services network as well as an armed wing,” she said. “Hezbollah is active in Lebanese politics, including the parliament and the government, and plays a specific role regarding the status quo in Lebanon.”
Taking this into account, she said, there is “no consensus among the EU member states for putting Hezbollah on the terrorist list of the organization. Should there be tangible evidence of Hezbollah engaging in acts of terrorism, the EU would consider listing the organization.”
Cyprus is currently holding a suspect who according to Israeli officials has admitted under interrogation to being a Hezbollah operative. He was arrested there late last month while allegedly planning an attack on Israeli tourists.
View original Jerusalem Post publication at: http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=278700