Britain Just Promised to Support Lebanon If Serious About Reforms

In January, the British Treasury has implemented asset freezing measures against Hezbollah, because of their designation of the entirety of Hezbollah as a terrorist group.

The country had previously only designated the military wing but however, this had changed in February 2019. The asset freezing measures that took place are considered consistent with their position on Hezbollah. 

The reason they made this decision is that they cannot distinguish between the military wing and the political party.

In a statement by the UK government, Home Secretary Sajid Javid said, “Hezbollah is continuing in its attempts to destabilize the fragile situation in the Middle East – and we are no longer able to distinguish between their already banned military wing and the political party. Because of this, I have taken the decision to proscribe the group in its entirety.”

The British Ambassador to Lebanon Chris Rampling stated that this would not affect how the country would deal with the Lebanese government. 

“We are very clear on the distinction between our policy on Hezbollah and our policy on the government,” he told MTV in an interview that was aired on the evening of February 16th.

The UK is willing to support Lebanon as long as the government is serious about freedom and finding a solution to the economic crisis that is facing Lebanon.

The appointment of Hassan Diab as Prime Minister of Lebanon has been largely controversial in the world news.

Many media outlets, such as CNN, have referred to Hassan Diab as being a Hezbollah candidate, which can be viewed as an instant condemnation of the new government.

The formation of the government has not helped decrease these criticisms as it has been widely probed as being “one-sided” because it was formed of ministers backed by Hezbollah and its allies.

Despite this, Rampling has called the formation of the government a “crucial first step… but only the first step.”

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