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WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States on Monday applauded the EU’s designation of the military wing of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah as a “terrorist organization,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said.

“With today’s action, the EU is sending a strong message to Hezbollah that it cannot operate with impunity,” Kerry said in a statement, calling the move by the European Union “an important step.”

European Union foreign ministers on Monday put the military wing of the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah on its list of terrorist organizations despite Lebanon warning against such a move.

At the same time, analysts voiced doubts about the effectiveness of the measure, questioning if Hezbollah really can be broken down into separate parts for punishment or reward.

Kerry said the designation showed “there are consequences” for Hezbollah’s actions, “including last year’s deadly attack in Burgas, Bulgaria, and for plotting a similar attack in Cyprus.

“This designation will have a significant impact on Hezbollah’s ability to operate freely in Europe by enabling European law enforcement agencies to crack down on Hezbollah’s fundraising, logistical activity, and terrorist plotting on European soil.”

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