Bulgaria backs away from Hezbollah claims

2013-06-05 13:00
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sofia - Bulgaria said on Wednesday it only had an "indication" that Lebanon's Hezbollah might have been behind a deadly bus bombing in July and that this alone did not justify any European Union move to list it as a terrorist group.

The new Socialist-led government backed away from charges by its centre-right predecessor that the Shi'ite Muslim militant group had carried out the attack that killed five Israelis and their Bulgarian bus driver in the Black Sea city of Burgas.

"It is important that the [EU] decision be based not only on the bombing in Burgas because I think the evidence we have is not explicit," Foreign Minister Kristian Vigenin, whose government took office last week, told national state radio BNR.

"There is an indication that it is possible [that Hezbollah was behind it] but we cannot take decisions with important consequences for the EU based on indirect data.

"If we have enough serious proof from other cases, then we will not waver to back such a decision," Vigenin said.

Hezbollah has denied any involvement in the Burgas bombing.

Vigenin said the Bulgarian authorities were pursuing their inquiry into the attack and would keep EU governments informed.

Rush to implicate without proof


A British request to blacklist Hezbollah ran into opposition in the EU on Tuesday, with several governments voicing concern that doing this would increase instability in the Middle East.

Some diplomats have said that such a move would complicate the EU's contacts with Lebanon, where Hezbollah is part of the coalition government, and could increase turmoil in a country already suffering a spillover of civil war from Syria

Britain, which has in the past held contacts with what it calls Hezbollah's "political wing" has argued that the group should face European sanctions because of its involvement in the Burgas bombing and a plot to attack Israeli interests in Cyprus.

Blacklisting Hezbollah would mark a major policy shift for the EU, which has resisted pressure from Israel and Washington to do so for years.

In February, the previous Bulgarian cabinet, a staunch ally of Washington, urged European governments to take a harder stance towards Hezbollah after blaming it for the Burgas attack.

The Socialists, then in opposition, accused the centre-right government of rushing to implicate Hezbollah without proof and exposing the Balkan country to possible new terrorist attacks.

EU governments will again discuss the proposal to blacklist Hezbollah later this month.

Read more on:    hezbollah  |  eu  |  bulgaria  |  security  |  bulgaria bus blast

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/World

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.