First Published: 2013-07-04

 

Gulf countries discuss sanctions to clip Hezbollah wings

 

Senior Gulf Cooperation Council officials meet in Riyadh to coordinate sanctions against Lebanon's Hezbollah over its support for Syria regime.

 

Middle East Online

Determined to hold back Hezbollah

RIYADH - Senior Gulf Cooperation Council officials met in Riyadh on Thursday to coordinate sanctions in the six member states against Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah movement over its support for the Syria regime.

The meeting was "to develop mechanisms to monitor movements, financial transactions and business operations of Hezbollah," said Bahraini deputy interior minister Khaled al-Absi.

The GCC monarchies decided on June 10 to impose sanctions on Hezbollah, targeting residency permits and its financial and business activities in reprisal for the group's armed intervention in Syria.

Absi told reporters two expert teams will be formed: one to "coordinate with central banks" and the second to review "legal, administrative and financial matters" linked to the sanctions.

Last month's measure was taken "after the discovery in GCC states of several terrorist cells linked to the group," said Absi.

However, he did not say how many Hezbollah suspects would be affected by the sanctions or their estimated assets and financial and commercial operations in the region.

The sanctions would be implemented "in coordination... with ministers of commerce and the central banks of the GCC," the council's Secretary General Abdullatif al-Zayani has said.

The GCC comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Qatar expelled 18 Lebanese citizens from the gas-rich Gulf state on June 20, a government source in Beirut said.

An estimated 360,000 Lebanese work in the Gulf, according to Lebanese daily An-Nahar, remitting some $4 billion (three billion euros) annually.

Lebanon has a population of just 4.1 million.

A staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, of the Alawite sect of Shiite Islam, Hezbollah has backed him since protests erupted in March 2011, openly declaring its military involvement last month.

The Sunni monarchies of the Gulf back the mostly Sunni rebels, and the GCC has warned that it might add Hezbollah to its list of terrorist groups.

 

Angry protesters storm Iraq Green Zone

War continues in Aleppo, with US-Russia agreement

Rouhani allies win second round of Iran parliament elections

South Sudan unveils unity government

Aleppo mourns paediatrician killed in air strike

UN council votes to bring back full Western Sahara mission

Air strike hits clinic in rebel-held Aleppo

US, Russia 'agree freeze' on two Syrian fronts

Libya unity government vows to end jihadist 'scourge'

Turkey demands 5 years jail for UK academic over 'terror propaganda'

UK pair accused of giving money to Brussels, Paris attacks suspect

Turkey says Bursa bomber linked to PKK

UN rights chief calls Syrian crisis 'shameful realpolitik'

Kuwait steps up deportations of expat workers

Iranians vote in second round of parliamentary elections

Palestinians support, Israel opposes French peace initiative

Biden in surprise Iraq visit to support embattled government

MSF condemns strike on Aleppo hospital

Lifeline to millions in Syria 'may be broken' as violence intensifies

Turkish journalists get two years for publishing Charlie Hebdo cartoon

Greece making 'incredible effort' to tackle migration issue

Iraq shuts Al-Jazeera bureau for 'instigating violence and sectarianism'

Syria regime readies for major Aleppo offensive

Israel nuclear reactor defects spark secrecy dilemma

Suicide bomber targets Aden police chief

Death toll in Syria's Aleppo rises despite UN truce plea

Italy to introduce migrant fingerprinting at sea

UN envoy plans to hold another round of Syria peace talks

US proposes full restoration of Western Sahara mission

27 Yemeni soldiers dead in key offensive

Global press freedom drops to lowest level in 12 years

Constitutional amendment grants Jordan king more powers

Suicide bomber blows herself up in Turkey northwestern city

Austria adopts one of EU's toughest asylum laws

Netherlands warns no safety 'guarantees' for visitors to Turkey

Battered Aleppo residents ask: Where is Syria ceasefire?

Libya kidnappers release Serbian worker

Sinai bombing kills three Egypt policemen

UAE considers tough safety code after skyscraper fires

UNESCO says Palmyra retains 'authenticity' despite damage

Khamenei says US 'fomenting Iranophobia'

Russia applauds cooperation with US on Syria

Etihad Airways sees $103 million profit in 2015

Russia asks UN to list Syria rebel group as 'terrorist'

2 Palestinians shot dead at checkpoint