WASHINGTON — Thursday, U.S. Representatives Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Grace Meng (D-NY) called on the European Union (EU) to designate all of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.
In a letter to David O’Sullivan, European Union Ambassador to the U.S., the lawmakers noted the EU previously labeled Hezbollah’s military arm as a terrorist organization but failed to do the same with its political wing.
Roskam and Meng sent the letter in the wake of last week’s move by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to fully designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization without making any distinction between its military and political arms.
“While the 2013 EU designation of Hezbollah’s military wing was a step in the right direction, distinguishing between Hezbollah’s military and political arms is a distinction without a difference,” Roskam and Meng wrote. “Hezbollah can easily transfer money within its organization, rendering EU attempts to effectively sanction its terrorist activities meaningless. The entire organization is implicated in Hezbollah’s nefarious activities.”
“The European Union is a vital partner to the United States in addressing global issues,” the two Members of Congress added. “Given our collective importance to the global financial system, a unified approach to countering terrorist financing would be a formidable obstacle for terrorist organizations like Hezbollah. We urge the European Union to immediately designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization and work to oppose their global terrorist ambitions.”
A copy of the full letter is available here.
Rep. Roskam serves as Co-Chair of the House Republican Israel Caucus. Rep. Meng is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and its Subcommittee on the Middle East.