Lebanese militant group Hezbollah on Friday slammed U.S. President Barack Obama's demand that nations list it as a "terrorist organisation," saying he spoke like "an employee of the Zionist entity."
"He speaks like an employee of the Zionist entity [Israel] and not the highest-ranking official in the administration of the independent state that is the United States," the group said in a statement issued overnight.
"Obama wants the Arabs to accept the enemy entity as a Jewish state in the region and begin complete normalization with it while he fails to mention any of the just demands of the Palestinians," it added.
"In addition, to please the enemy entity, he is calling on the world to consider Hezbollah, one of the main parts of the resistance, as a terrorist group.”
"This confirms the folly of counting on negotiations and proves that the choice of resistance is correct."
The statement came after Obama, speaking during a visit to Jerusalem, urged foreign governments to blacklist the Shiite group as a "terrorist organisation."
"Every country that values justice should call Hezbollah what it truly is – a terrorist organization," he said, in remarks apparently aimed at the European Union, which has declined to put the group on a list of terrorist movements.
Hezbollah has been on a US terror blacklist since 1995, after a series of anti-American attacks including the bombing of the US embassy and Marine barracks in Beirut in the 1980s.
But the issue is sensitive in Europe because of sharp differences between members, with Britain in favour of blacklisting Hezbollah's military wing but France and Italy believed to be reluctant.
The United States has urged the EU to join it in listing the group, saying the designation would make it harder for the organisation to raise funds.