Bulgaria Says It Hasn't Backtracked on Hezbollah

Diplomacy | June 14, 2013, Friday // 14:43|  views

Bulgarian Ambassador in Washington DC, Elena Poptodorova. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency

Bulgarian Ambassador to the US Elena Poptodorova has declared that her country is not trying to shift blame for the Burgas terror attack from Hezbollah.

Poptodorova has written a letter to The New York Times reminding that “Bulgaria is ready to join the consensus decision” of the European Union on the designation of the military wing of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

The letter comes as a response to a New York Times article entitled Bulgaria Pulls Back on Blame for Hezbollah published on June 5. The article cited Bulgarian Foreign Minister Kristian Vigenin’s words that “the evidence is not categorical” that Hezbollah planned the terror attack.

“We disagree with your characterization of our position regarding Hezbollah’s involvement in the terrorist attack last July at Sarafovo Airport, near the city of Burgas, which killed five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian,” Poptodorova’s letter says.

“We understand the stakes involved in the battle of democratic nations against the scourge of terrorism. Bulgaria will continue to do our part in standing up to those who would murder innocent people in our country or elsewhere.”

In February 2013, Bulgaria’s then-Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov suggested that the evidence collected by the investigating authorities led to a "reasonable assumption" about the involvement of the Lebanese militant group in the terror attack at the Burgas airport. Tsvetanov’s center-right GERB government was seen as a staunch ally of Washington.

Vigenin’s left-wing Bulgarian Socialist Party reacted strongly to Tsvetanov’s “reasonable assumption” back in February, accusing GERB of rushing to implicate Hezbollah without proof and exposing the country to possible new terrorist attacks.

Blacklisting Hezbollah’s military wing as a terrorist group requires a unanimous vote by the 27 EU Member States.

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Tags: Burgas bus bombing, terror attack, Hezbollah, Kristian Vigenin, Israeli, Burgas, terrorist, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Elena Poptodorova


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