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Aoun Regrets US Treasury Measures Against Hezbollah

Aoun Regrets US Treasury Measures Against Hezbollah

Thursday, 11 July, 2019 - 06:15
FILE PHOTO: Lebanese President Michel Aoun is seen at the presidential palace in Baabda, Lebanon, November 7, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir/File Photo
Beirut - Nazeer Rida
Lebanese authorities announced on Wednesday that they would contact Washington to follow-up on new sanctions announced by the US Treasury against Hezbollah deputies.

Lebanon "regrets" the US move, "especially in terms of targeting two elected deputies", President Michel Aoun said in a statement.

The decision "contradicts previous American positions that confirm Lebanon's commitment to international conventions on combating money laundering and preventing its use in terrorist attacks", he added.

Lebanese politicians ruled out that the US sanctions could affect the work of parliament and the cabinet in the coming phase.

On Tuesday, the US Treasury named MPs Amin Sherri and Mohammad Raad to a terror-related blacklist, saying that Hezbollah uses its parliamentary power to advance its violent activities.

The US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control said it also designated Wafiq Safa, who is in charge of Hezbollah’s Liaison and Coordination Unit responsible for coordinating with Lebanese security agencies.

Speaker Nabih Berri described on Wednesday the US sanctions as “a blatant attack on parliament and most certainly on Lebanon as a whole.”

A statement released by the speakership appealed to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) to take the necessary measures countering this “irrational” behavior.

Prime Minister Saad Hariri also said there is no doubt that the sanctions took a new direction by being imposed on MPs.

“But this will not affect parliament or the work that we do both in parliament and the government. It is a new development and we will deal with it as we see fit and will issue a stance about it,” Hariri said while sponsoring a ceremony honoring the former President of the Association of Banks in Lebanon Dr. Joseph Torbey.

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