The White House applauded the European Union’s decision Monday to blacklist Lebanon’s military group Hezbollah, allowing government officials to crack down on the group’s fundraising, logistics and terror plots in Europe.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said the move sends a clear message that there are consequences for the Lebanese group's terrorist activities, including a deadly attack last year in a Bulgarian resort and a plot to kill Israelis in Cyprus.
Carney said Hezbollah threatens global stability and criticized the organization’s support for Syrian President Bashar Assad and the ongoing two and a half year civil conflict there that has killed nearly 93,000 people.
Rep. Eliot Engel, D-NY, a ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called the EU’s decision “an important first step in confirming what we have known for many years – that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization bent on sowing the seeds of instability and political violence not only in the Middle East, but around the world.”
The EU's 28 foreign ministers reached the decision unanimously on Monday. The Iranian-backed Hezbollah plays a pivotal role in Lebanese politics and has sent members to bolster Assad's forces in their assault of rebel-held areas.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.