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Fri May 19, 2017, 12:56 PM

Saudis, United States blacklist a Hezbollah leader

Source: Reuters

Fri May 19, 2017 | 12:44pm EDT

Saudi Arabia said on Friday it had blacklisted Hashem Safieddine, a prominent leader of the Lebanese Shi'ite Muslim group Hezbollah that is a close ally of Riyadh's arch-regional adversary Iran. The United States Treasury Department also added Safieddine to its counter-terrorism blacklist on Friday, a day before U.S. President Donald Trump travels to Saudi Arabia.

Riyadh is the first stop on Trump's maiden international trip since taking office in January, and he is expected to conclude important security and trade agreements there with Saudi officials.

"The Saudi government today designated a leader of Hezbollah, whose name is Hashem Safieddine," Saudi state news agency SPA said. Safieddine's name was posted on the counter terrorism blacklist on the U.S. Treasury Department website. Safieddine was working in the interest of Hezbollah in the Middle East and provided advice to launch "terrorist operations" and support the Syrian regime, SPA said.

Safieddine is president of Hezbollah's executive council, which oversees the group's social and economic activities. Hezbollah is regarded by Washington as a terrorist organization.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-lebanon-hezbollah-idUSKCN18F1YS?il=0

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