The Gulf Cooperation has officially declared Lebanon’s Shia Islamic group Hezbollah a terrorist organisation, heightening a diplomatic spat with the country.
All Hezbollah militias, leaders, factions and organisations affiliated with them are included in the declaration, according to UAE state news agency WAM.
GCC secretary general Dr Abdullatif bin Rashid Al- Zayani said the ruling was made following “hostile acts” carried out by the militia including the recruitment of young people from the GCC for terrorism, the smuggling of weapons and “inciting sedition, disorder and violence”.
“The GCC states consider Hezbollah militias’ practices in the council’s states and their terrorist and subversive acts being carried out in Syria, Yemen and Iraq to contradict moral and humanitarian values and principles and the international law and pose a threat to Arab national security,” he added.
The GCC countries will take steps to implement the decision on the basis of regional and international anti-terrorism laws, according to WAM.
Last month, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait banned citizens from travelling to Lebanon.
Saudi Arabia also halted a $4bn arms deal with the Lebanese Armed Forces and Internal Security Forces after the country failed to support resolutions against Hezbollah ally Iran during two meetings of Arab and Muslim foreign ministers.
The kingdom closed all diplomatic relations with Iran in January after protestors attacked its Tehran embassy. This followed the Saudi execution of Shia cleric Nimr Al-Nimr at the beginning of the year.