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LTTE officially added to EU blacklist

BELGIUM : The European Union officially added the LTTE to its terror blacklist yesterday, effectively freezing the group's assets across the 25-nation bloc and hindering its ability to raise money for its armed movement.

The updated blacklist was published Wednesday, two days after EU ministers voted without debate to include the Tigers.

"The decision of the EU to list the LTTE should come as a surprise to nobody," the EU said in a statement.

The list also includes the al-Qaida terror group and the militant Palestinian group Hamas.

The EU said that the Tigers had "systematically ignored" its warnings to give up their armed conflict on the Indian Ocean island, and commit to peace talks, the statement said.

The group still must "amend its violent course and return to peace talks," the EU statement said, adding that it would continue contacts with the group "where such contacts, in the pursuit of the peace process, may help to bring about a return to negotiations and an end to violence."

The EU also called on the Sri Lankan Government to curb violence in government-controlled areas.

AP

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