Lebanon News

GCC to meet on Hezbollah sanctions

Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Abdullatif al-Zayani is escorted by Saudi officials as he arrives for the session of the Supreme Council of the GCC Foreign Ministers on June 2, 2013 in the Saudi city of Jeddah. (AFP PHOTO/STR)

RIYADH: The Gulf Cooperation Council will hold a meeting in Riyadh next week to agree on mechanisms for imposing sanctions on members of Lebanon’s Hezbollah, its head Abdullatif al-Zayani said. The monarchies of the GCC decided on June 10 to impose sanctions on members of Hezbollah, targeting their residency permits and their financial and business activities in reprisal for the Shiite group’s intervention in Syria.

Thursday’s meeting, in which deputy interior ministers from GCC member states will take part, would “develop the appropriate mechanisms for applying” the June 10 decision, Zayani said in comments quoted by official Saudi news agency SPA.

The sanctions would be implemented “in coordination ... with ministers of commerce and the central banks of the GCC,” he added, without giving further details about the precise nature of the mechanisms.

The Gulf Cooperation Council is made up of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar.

Qatari authorities expelled 18 Lebanese citizens from the gas-rich Gulf state on June 20, a government source in Beirut told AFP.

An estimated several hundred thousand Lebanese nationals work in the Gulf, transferring millions of dollars in remittances annually back to their home country.

A staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Hezbollah has backed him since protests erupted in March 2011, openly declaring its military involvement in the war last month.

The monarchies of the Gulf, on the other hand, back the mostly Syrian rebels and the GCC has warned it might add Hezbollah to its list of terrorist groups.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on June 29, 2013, on page 2.




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