Al Mayadeen Sources: Hungary to Veto European Sanctions against Lebanese MPs
After the European Union agreed to impose sanctions on Lebanon's ruling political class, sources tell Al Mayadeen Net that Hungary rejects the notion of penalties and plans to use its "veto" to block the decision.
Al Mayadeen Net reported that the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó held a meeting, away from the media, with a Lebanese diplomat.
During the meeting, the Hungarian Minister confirmed that his government's official stance is to veto any European initiative aimed at imposing sanctions on Lebanese MPs in the Council of the European Union.
Furthermore, he emphasized that “this is a form of meddling in the Lebanese political affairs”.
The Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs added that “several experiences have proven that sanctions are unlikely to achieve desired results," stressing that they require the Council's unanimity.
The top Hungarian diplomat went on to say that his country would also oppose the EU's inclusion of Hezbollah on the list of terrorist organizations, considering that Hezbollah is a Lebanese political party that represents a segment of the Lebanese society.
According to Al Mayadeen Net, Hungary was not the only country to adopt this stance; at least four other countries reject the notion of political sanctions, emphasizing that the criteria for European Union sanctions being prepared for Lebanese politicians should be limited to those who are found guilty of corruption, money laundering, or money smuggling.
In the same context, Al Mayadeen sources confirmed that Italy also demanded clear and convincing evidence before adding any names to the sanctions list. Meanwhile, France, Germany, and the Netherlands showed enthusiasm towards moving forward with US-derived retaliatory sanctions.
On Monday, the European Union foreign ministers agreed to proceed with imposing sanctions on Lebanon's ruling political class against the backdrop of the political crisis in the country.
On his part, EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell told reporters in Brussels that the European Union's foreign ministers gave the green light to “the legal framework for the sanctions procedures targeting Lebanese leaders, who pushed their country into economic collapse".
Borrell said that this is supposed to be accomplished “by the end of this month."