Kremlin Refuses to Label Hezbollah, Hamas as Terror Groups

January 6, 2016

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Labeling Hamas and Hezbollah as official terrorist organizations is off the table for the Kremlin, a senior Russian official said.

Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told Interfax news agency last week that while Russia agrees with the US that certain groups operating in Syria are terrorist organizations, his country is “not even discussing Hezbollah and Hamas with the Americans.”

Lebanese terror group Hezbollah is an ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Hezbollah militants have been fighting alongside pro-regime soldiers in Syria against moderate Syrian and Islamist rebel groups.

The US, European Union, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, among other nations, list Hezbollah and Hamas as known terrorist groups.

Gatilov’s statement came amid talks between Moscow and Washington regarding strategy on how to weaken al-Qaeda, Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS fighters operating in the Mideast region.

“Our opinions coincide as regards to the main terrorist organizations,” he said. “These are the main ones, and there is a definite consent about them.”

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