- The Washington Times - Friday, March 29, 2013

France is poised to add Hezbollah to the European Union’s list of terrorist organizations after the group claimed responsibility for last year’s attack on a bus filled with Israeli tourists to Burgas.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told Secretary of State John Kerry of the decision on Wednesday, according to a report by the Times of Israel citing al-Hayat, a London-based Arab newspaper. Mr. Fabius said Paris was also swayed by a report that Hezbollah is providing assistance to Syrian President Bashar Assad and his fight against the rebels.

The decision was welcomed by U.S. and Israeli officials, who have been pressuring Paris to officially name Hezbollah as a terrorist group for months, the Times of Israel said. The Lebanese-based organization gets money and military training from Iran, analysts say.

The United States classifies Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, as do Bahrain, the United Kingdom, Australia, Israel, Canada and the Netherlands.

It has been blamed for several terrorist attacks that have taken place in the past 20 years, the Times of Israel reported.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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