Senior officials of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) met here yesterday to coordinate sanctions against Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement over its support for the Syria regime.
The meeting was convened “to develop mechanisms to monitor movements, financial transactions and business operations of Hezbollah,” said Bahraini Deputy Interior Minister Khaled Al-Absi, in his opening speech at the meeting here.
Al-Absi said two expert teams would be formed, one to “coordinate with central banks” and the second to review “legal, administrative and financial matters” linked to the sanctions.
The Gulf states also expressed deep concerns over the repercussions of Syria’s widening civil war that has killed an estimated 100,000 people so far.
Al-Absi said the decision to impose sanctions was taken “after the discovery in GCC states of several terrorist cells linked to the group.”
The GCC decided on June 10 to impose sanctions on Hezbollah, targeting residency permits and its financial and business activities in reprisal for the group’s armed intervention in Syria.
“The sanctions would be implemented “in coordination … with ministers of commerce and the central banks of the GCC,” said GCC Secretary General Abdullatif Al-Zayani after the meeting.
A staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Hezbollah has backed him since protests erupted in March 2011.