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Hassan Nasrallah Photo: Reuters
Hassan Nasrallah Photo: Reuters
 
 

France considers recognition of Hezbollah as terror group

Following Bulgarian investigation pertaining to Hezbollah involvement in Burgas terror attack, France says if probe's final results prove link, country is to announce Nasrallah's organization as terror group; EU expected to back decision

Roi Kais
Published: 02.16.13, 11:15 / Israel News

French Foreign Ministry spokesman Philippe Lalliot said Saturday that his country was considering to officially recognize Hezbollah a terror organization, if, as Bulgaria had claimed, the Shiite group turns out to be behind the terror attack in Burgas that killed five Israeli tourists last July, Lebanese Al-Nahar newspaper reported.

 

Lalliot added that the European Union is also likely to address the issue, as the Bulgarian foreign minister is expected to present the final results of a probe into the Burgas terror attack in an EU summit meeting in Brussles next week.

 

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The Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov reiterated Friday his claim that two of the terrorists who carried out the bombing attack on a bus in Burgas, Bulgaria in July 2012 were Hezbollah operatives.

 

"The Burgas bombers were maintaining part of Hezbollah's structures in Canada and Australia and had contacts with other representatives of this organization," Tsvetanov said in a Friday interview with TV7.

 

Tsvetanov added that investigators know the names of the attackers and are following them through Europe.

 

According to the French spokesman, if the Bulgarian probe introduces solid evidence pointing to Hezbollah's involvement in the terror attack, the European Union will unanimously back the decision to announce Hassan Nasrallah's organization a terror group.

 

European diplomats told the Lebanese Al- Joumhouria newspaper that EU foreign ministers intend to discuss Hezbollah status in a Monday meeting in Brussels.

 

In case the organization is indeed announced a terror group, it is expected to face economic sanctions to thwart its terrorist activity.

 

Earlier this month, Bulgaria's Interior Ministry stated that according to an investigation, two individuals with links to Lebanon's terror group Hezbollah were involved in the Burgas bomb attack.

 

In August, the Netherlands said that the EU should follow the lead of the United States, which designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization in the 1990s, a move that would enable the EU to freeze Hezbollah's assets in Europe.

 

 

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