Argentina to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization


BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — President Mauricio Macri of Argentina said his country is “moving forward” to declare the armed Lebanese group Hezbollah a terrorist organization.

Macri made the claim in an interview with Argentine journalist Marcelo Longobardi that will be aired Sunday on the CNN en Español channel.

In a preview of the interview posted online, Macri called the decision a “rejection of terrorism” and violence.

Hezbollah has been linked to the 1992 attack on the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, which killed 29, and the 1994 attack on the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires that killed 85.

What it means: The U.S. has long considered Hezbollah a terrorist group, and in 2018 the U.S. and Argentina agreed to work together to cut off Hezbollah funding networks and money laundering financing terrorism across Latin America.

U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo will participate in a Western Hemisphere anti-terrorism summit in Buenos Aires on July 19. That day, one day after the public ceremony commemorating the 25th anniversary of the AMIA attack, Pompeo will visit the rebuilt AMIA building as a tribute to the victims.

When Argentina declares Hezbollah a terrorist organization, the government could receive a visit from Pompeo, signaling a new level of political alignment between the two countries.

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