FM: Australia Open to Follow UK's Lead on Hezbollah

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FM: Australia Open to Follow UK's Lead on Hezbollah

Australia is open to following Britain's lead in labeling Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist group, Foreign Minister Marise Payne said.

"I will take the British foreign secretary's perspective on that issue and take it back with me to discuss with my colleagues," Payne told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age during her visit to London earlier this week.

"Well, we have measures in place as you know, particularly in relation to the ESO and threshold around criminal behaviour, but I would want to look at that carefully with my colleagues," she said.

Britain announced on Monday it will ban Hezbollah, labeling the Lebanese group in its entirety, including its political wing, as a terrorist organization.

The UK government said it has taken the decision to proscribe Hezbollah in its entirety on the basis that it is no longer tenable to distinguish between the military and political wings of the group.

"It is clear the distinction between Hezbollah’s military and political wings does not exist, and by proscribing Hezbollah in all its forms, the government is sending a clear signal that its destabilising activities in the region are totally unacceptable and detrimental to the UK’s national security," British Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said.