Manama: Bahrain’s lawmakers have called for branding Lebanese group Hezbollah “a terrorist organisation.” The move should be coordinated between the Bahraini foreign ministry and the foreign ministries of the other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, the 15 MPs who launched the initiative said at the weekly session.
“I urge all the lawmakers to endorse the proposal and refer it to the government,” MP Jasem Al Saeedi who led the move said. “We should submit it directly without the need to refer it to the committee or to push for further studies because this is a corrupt and criminal party that is deeply implicated in bloodshed,” Al Saeedi said.
The MP, an independent Salafist, said that the lower house of the bicameral parliament does not have to discuss the proposal with any ministry. “The proposal is very clear and the terrorist activities of this party are also clear. What is needed is to refer it to the government promptly for ratification and the government must take the necessary measures without delay,” he said on Tuesday.
Several countries, including the US, Canada, the Netherlands, Australia and the UK have made such moves against Hezbollah, he said. His proposal was supported by MP Abdul Hakim Al Shimmari who insisted that the parliament adopt it without delay.
“We do not at all need to discuss the proposal or even to listen to the government’s view on the matter,” he said. “Hezbollah is deeply implicated in terrorism, not only in Syria, but also in Bahrain. We need to be straight about the rights of Bahrainis and our views as well as those of the government should not be overshadowed by other considerations to please others. Even Europe has started thinking about branding Hezbollah a terrorist organisation following reports that it was trafficking in drugs to fund terrorist activities in Syria and Bahrain,” the independent MP said.
The head of the Salafist society Al Asala supported the call for an immediate ratification of the proposal. “Our hearts and minds are with this proposal and we will vote for it,” MP Abdul Halim Murad said. “Unfortunately, we do not trust the government’s foreign policy, especially in light of the cordial meetings that have taken place between Bahraini and Iranian officials. They claim they were part of politics, but we answer that politics cannot be at the expense of the sentiments and feelings of Bahraini citizens,” he said.
MP Hassan Al Dossari said that he was “pessimistic about the government’s reaction.” “I will vote for it, but I do know that the government will not ratify it and will tell us to calm the situation and rein in our enthusiasm so that we can ensure we have a positive atmosphere. We reject such a stance and we will not accept it,” he said.
An attempt by a government minister following the debate not to rush into the vote was rejected.