KUWAIT: Kuwaiti National Security Apparatus (NSA) Chief Sheikh Thamer Al-Ali Al- Sabah yesterday received in his office US Ambassador to Kuwait Lawrence R Silverman to discuss bilateral relations. The meeting focused on means of strengthening relations between Kuwait and the US, the NSA said in a press statement. The two sides also addressed regional and international issues of common concern, it added. — KUNA

KUWAIT: As part of Kuwait’s efforts in combating terrorism and drying out its funding, the committee in charge of implementing the UN Security Council’s resolutions which were issued under the seventh article of the United Nations charter has designated four entities and 10 individuals as terrorist groups, a foreign ministry source said Wednesday. The source told KUNA the decision was made in partnership with the United States, the main partner of the Terrorist Financing Targeting Centre (TFTC), in addition to member states, namely Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman.

The source noted such procedures comes as part of the relentless efforts by TFTC to counter terrorism financing, along with Kuwait’s keenness to strengthen partnership with the US to eliminate financing of terrorism groups, which threatens all member countries of the center. The source added that in implementation of Security Council resolution 1373 of 2001 under the 7th chapter of UN charter, and decisions made by GCC leaders in their 37th session, which was held in Manama in 2016, measures will be taken in accordance with the Kuwaiti constitution and its laws and through the relevant bodies.

The TFTC said the sanctions were aimed at Hezbollah’s Shura Council, the powerful Lebanese militia’s decision-making council, led by the group’s secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah. Nasrallah, Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Naim Qasim, and three other Shura Council members were listed under the joint sanctions, which aim at freezing vulnerable assets of those named and blocking their access to global financial networks.

It was the second time the year-old TFTC came together to announce sanctions on groups they call threats to regional peace. Last October, the group announced joint sanctions on top Islamic State and Al-Qaeda figures in Yemen. “The TFTC again demonstrated its great value to international security by disrupting Iran and Hezbollah’s destabilizing influence in the region,” said US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin in a statement. “By targeting Hezbollah’s Shura Council, our nations collectively rejected the false distinction between a so-called ‘Political Wing’ and Hezbollah’s global terrorist plotting.”

The move came 10 days after Hezbollah gave a strong showing in Lebanon’s elections, garnering enough seats in parliament to block any attempt by its political foes to make it disarm its militia, which rivals the Lebanese army in size and firepower. The announcement followed two US moves in the past week to put pressure on Iran’s financial networks, including sanctions announced Tuesday that aimed at an alleged financial pipeline that moved “hundreds of millions of dollars” from Iran’s central bank through an Iraqi bank to Hezbollah.

Coming after the Trump administration withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal on May 8, the Treasury said Wednesday’s actions are part of efforts to go after “the totality of Iran’s malign activities and regionally destabilizing behavior, including that of Hezbollah”.

The designated individuals and entities are:
1. The military wing of Hezbollah 2. Naim Qasim 3. Mohammad Yazbik 4. Hussain Khalil 5. Hashim Safi Al-Deen 6. Talal Hamia 7. Adham Tabaja 8. Spectrum Al-Taif group 9. Hasan Ibrahim 10. Maher Trading 11. Al-Inmaa Engineering and Contracting 12. Ali Youssef Chararah 13. Ibrahim Ameen Al-Said 14. Husain Ibrahim – Agencies