Hezbollah terrorist on watch tower
Hezbollah terrorist on watch towerReuters

Saudi Arabia on Saturday welcomed Australia’s intention to designate Hezbollah in its entirety, meaning both its military wing as well as its political arm, as a terrorist organization.

The Kingdom’s foreign ministry said in a statement quoted by Arab News that the step was important in enhancing international peace and security.

It also urged the international community to take a similar stance to confront terrorism and terrorist groups around the world.

Australian Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said in announcing the decision on Wednesday that the Iran-backed group "continues to threaten terrorist attacks and provide support to terrorist organizations" and poses a "real" and "credible" threat to Australia.

Hezbollah condemned Australia's decision to classify it as a terrorist organization describing the move as "a blind bias" in the service of Israeli interests.

With the move, Australia joined several other countries that have blacklisted all of Hezbollah in recent years.

Germany last year issued a federal order outlawing Hezbollah in the country, and also took enforcement measures under the provisions of the order.

The order prohibits any contact with members of the organization and does not differentiate between its various arms - military, political or social. According to the order, any use of the organization's symbols and the organization's assets in Germany, if any, would be banned.

In March of 2019, the British government designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. Last year, Britain's finance ministry added the entire Hezbollah organization to its list of terrorist groups subject to asset freezing.

In November of 2020, Slovenia joined the list of countries to blacklist Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

This past February, the Liguria Regional Council in Italy designated Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organization.

Earlier this year, Austria amended its Symbols Act, which prohibits the use of the symbols of terrorist groups, and stipulated that all arms of Hezbollah are considered terrorist organizations.

The European Union, however, only includes Hezbollah's military wing - and not its political wing - on its list of sanctioned terrorist organizations. There have been calls on the bloc over the years to amend its blacklist to include the entire group.