Bulgarian MPs Postpone Controversial Syria Visit

Society | November 26, 2013, Tuesday // 13:44|  views

Nationalist Ataka MP and journalist Magdalina Tasheva and a team from the party's TV "Alpha" are going to visit Damascus in December to make a film about the situation in Syria. Photo BGNES

Bulgaria's Parliamentary delegation to Syria, which was scheduled for the beginning of December, has been postponed.

The update was announced by the Member of the Parliament from the Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP, Strahil Angelov, cited by the online news agency Dnevnik.

In his words, the visit will take place after the conference "Geneva 2," which starts on January 22, 2014, and focuses on negotiations to end the civil conflict in Syria.

The visit has been postponed for security reasons says Strahilov, after last week's surprising announcement of the leader of the extremist nationalist party "Ataka," Volen Siderov that such trip was going to take place. Siderov spoke at the meeting of the Consultative Council for National Security summoned by President Rosen Plevneliev.

The information was also confirmed then by Angelov, who tied the visit to a business delegation from the Chamber of Commerce of the southern city of Haskovo.

He further said he was going to lead the delegation as he is the Chair of the Group for Friendship with Syria in the Parliament, and Siderov was not going to be included in it, but other Ataka lawmakers would.

According to him the visit was to be three-day long and was to start on December 7.

Strahilov also explained at the time that talks with Syria's economy and foreign affairs ministers as well as with President Bashar al-Assad were expected. The topics for discussion would have revolved around the refugee wave from Syria to Bulgaria; the possibility to extradite these refugees back, and participation of Bulgarian companies in the rebuilding of the country after the end of the civil war conflict.

The visit was not an official State or parliamentary one.

According to the head of Haskovo Chamber of Commerce Yancho Yanev, quoted by "Sega" (Now) daily, local business people no longer intend to inform MPs about their plans. In his words, there was no date yet for the trip, but representatives of 10-12 companies producing basic staples such as medication and food, providing construction services and others, were going to leave for Damascus. He added that the invitation to them was extended by the Syrian Minister of Industry.

Meanwhile, "Ataka" told "Dnevnik" that their MP and journalist MagdalđÁna Tasheva and a team from the party's TV "Alpha" were still going to visit Damascus on December 7 to make a film about the situation in Syria. Siderov is not going to be part of the group.

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Tags: BSP, Bashar Al-Assad, Strahil Angelov, trip, visit, Syria, lawmakers, Ataka, Volen Siderov, haskovo, Chamber of Commerce, Consultative Council for National Security, President Rosen Plevneliev, Magdalena Tasheva

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