Lebanon has asked the European Union not to add Hezbollah to its blacklist of terrorist organisations, calling the group an "essential component of Lebanese society".
The request came on Thursday, as EU foreign ministers prepared to discuss whether to add the armed wing of Hezbollah to their list of terrorist groups.
A Lebanese presidency statement said it had "asked the foreign minister to notify the European Commission and member states of the government's request, and not to place Hezbollah, an essential component of Lebanese society, on the list of terror organisations".
It asked that "any decision not be taken in a precipitate manner, and without being based on objective and irrefutable proof".
Diplomatic sources said foreign ministers were set to decide on Monday whether or not to blacklist the military wing of Hezbollah.