Bulgaria Unlikely to Join 'Coalition of Willing' for Syria

Politics | September 4, 2013, Wednesday // 21:07|  views

Bulgaria's Foreign Minister Kristiyan Vigenin, photo by BGNES

Bulgaria is not likely to join a "coalition of the willing" for an attack against Syria, according to Foreign Minister Kristiyan Vigenin.

Vigenin, as cited by the Focus news agency, informed Wednesday that the informal meeting of EU Foreign Ministers on September 6-7 in Vilnius would shed light on the common position of the EU on Syria.

"NATO does not plan to take part in such an operation. The most realistic scenario which can be inferred at this stage is some form of a "coalition of the willing," he stated, adding that both unilateral activities and an operation by a "coalition of the willing" were unfavorable solutions because they were against international law.

"We should not cement our stance before all other options have been exhausted. To us, the most favorable solution is for the permanent U.N. Security Council members to suggest an exit from the crisis," he emphasized.

Vigenin specified that Bulgaria had not been asked to participate in a military operation against Syria or to express political support for such a step and vowed to keep Parliament and the media posted about further developments.

Regarding the increase in refugee numbers, he said that Bulgaria did not need to close its border at the current stage.

He informed, however, that Bulgaria would ask Greece and Turkey to boost border control.

"The influx of illegal immigrants, not all of which seek refugee status, is increasing. However, it is far from the proportions which could be interpreted as a threat to Bulgaria or as a humanitarian catastrophe on the territory of the country," he declared.

He said that he would inform EU Foreign Ministers that the country was experiencing increased refugee pressure "just so that the red lamp flashes", adding that Bulgaria would seek assistance at a later stage, if necessary.

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Tags: Kristian Vigenin, Syria, coalition of the willing, military operation


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