Bulgaria Backs Away From Blaming Hezbollah in Terror Aimed at Israelis

Could Shield Lebanese Group From Europe Sanctions

getty images

By Reuters

Published June 05, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

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.

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.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
  • What's it like to run the Palestine International Marathon as a Jew?
  • Does Israel have a racism problem?
  • This 007 hates guns, drives a Prius, and oh yeah — goes to shul with Scarlett Johansson's dad.
  • Meet Alvin Wong. He's the happiest man in America — and an observant Jew. The key to happiness? "Humility."
  • "My first bra was a training bra, a sports bra that gave the illusion of a flat chest."
  • "If the people of Rwanda can heal their broken hearts and accept the Other as human, so can we."
  • Aribert Heim, the "Butcher of Mauthausen," died a free man. How did he escape justice?
  • This guy skipped out on seder at his mom's and won a $1 million in a poker tournament. Worth it?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.