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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

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Bulgarian foreign minister sends mixed signals on Hezbollah role in Burgas terror attack

Tags: International
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A screen shot of video footage of the summer 2012 terrorist attack on a tour bus carrying Israelis in Burgas, Bulgaria. Hezbollah was at first implicated in the attack by an Bulgarian investigation, before Bulgaria's foreign minister appeared to backtrack—but then denied backtracking—the investigation. [YouTube]

Bulgarian Foreign Minister Kristian Vigenin backtracked slightly from a statement he made last week that shed some doubt on his government’s conclusion that Hezbollah was behind the July 2012 Burgas Airport terror attack. Five Israeli tourists and their Bulgarian bus driver were killed in the attack.
A screen shot of video footage of the summer 2012 terrorist attack on a tour bus carrying Israelis in Burgas, Bulgaria. Hezbollah was at first implicated in the attack by an Bulgarian investigation, before Bulgaria's foreign minister appeared to backtrack—but then denied backtracking—the investigation. Credit: YouTube.

In a meeting with Israel’s Ambassador to Bulgaria, Shaul Kamisa-Raz, Vigenin told the Israeli diplomat that his government’s position on the Burgas attack has not changed, the Sofia Globe reported.

“We place high value on the support of Israel for the development of our potential to combat terrorism. We have no choice but to co-operate for the sake of the security of the citizens of both countries,” Vigenin said during the meeting.

Last week, it was widely reported that Vigenin, who recently took office as part of a new Socialist-led government, said there was only an “indication” that Hezbollah was behind the attack.

“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,” the foreign minister said at the time, Reuters reported.

But in a subsequent interview with Bulgaria’s Standart newspaper, Vigenin sought to underline that his government had not changed its position.

“Regarding the ongoing consultations whether the armed wing of Hezbollah should be put on the list of terrorist organizations, Bulgaria will share the stand reached by all EU members… So, regardless of some speculations of the media, Bulgaria has not reconsidered its stand on Hezbollah,” Vigenin said.

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