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The Lithuanian government has banned entry to people linked to the Hezbollah paramilitary movement which it regards as a "terrorist organization".
"Hezbollah" sekėjas
"Hezbollah" sekėjas
© Reuters/Scanpix

"Hezbollah-affiliated persons were banned from entering Lithuania," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday, adding that the ban will remain in force for 10 years.

The Migration Department imposed the ban based on information about Hezbollah-linked individuals' activities that pose threat to Lithuania's national security interests, it said.

Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius thanked Lithuanian and Israeli national security agencies as he announced the decision.

"Having taken into consideration the information acquired by our institutions and partners, we may conclude that Hezbollah uses terrorist means that pose threat to the security of a significant number of countries, including Lithuania," the minister said in the statement.

"We stand together with the United States of America, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands as well as other countries that had reached the same conclusion," Linkevicius said.

"We appreciate the successful cooperation between the Lithuanian and Israeli national security agencies," he added. "We are thankful to these institutions for their significant work in helping ensure the safety of our citizens".

Israel and the United States have declared Iran-backed Hezbollah a terrorist organization. The movement is a major political player in Lebanon.

Lithuania supports "peaceful people of Lebanon and their wish for their country to implement necessary reforms", Linkevicius said.

In the wake of the August 4 explosions in Beirut, Lithuania has allocated 50,000 euros in humanitarian aid to Lebanon.

BNS
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