Hizbullah supporters in Lebanon (illustrative
Hizbullah supporters in Lebanon (illustrativeAFP/Mahmoud Zayyat

Lebanon on Thursday demanded that the European Union keep Hizbullah off its list of terror organizations. Hizbullah, the Lebanese government said in a letter to the EU, “is an essential component of Lebanese society.” In a statement from the government, Lebanon said that if the EU did put the group on the the terror list, it would be doing it without proof that Hizbullah was actually a terror group, and that the decision was unfair.

The request came almost to the day of the one year anniversary of the bombing of a resort in Burgas, Bulgaria, targeting Israeli tourists. Iran has been accused of sponsoring the terror attack, which Israel said was executed by Hizbullah. Last Wednesday, Bulgaria's Foreign Minister said that new evidence had surfaced linking Hizbullah with the terror attack. Five Israelis and a Bulgarian were killed in the attack.

The EU just last week said that it planned to add Hizbullah to the terror list. The group's presence on the list means that EU authorities will seize money and supplies to be transferred to the group. Hizbullah members who travel to Europe are subject to arrest and detention. The UK asked for Hizbullah to be added to the terror list, and is supported by France, which previously had been against the idea.

EU foreign ministers are set to discuss the matter in the coming weeks. Counter-terrorist experts from the bloc's 28 member states twice failed last month to reach a unanimous decision to blacklist the Lebanese Shiite group.