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Bulgaria FM: Gov’t still believes Hezbollah backed Burgas attack

(JTA) — Bulgaria has not changed its position that Hezbollah was behind the 2012 terror attack on a busload of Israeli tourists, Bulgaria’s foreign minister reassured Israel’s ambassador to her country.

The reassurance by Kristian Vigenin to Shaul Kamisa-Raz during a meeting on Monday followed a statement by Vigenin earlier this month in which she appeared to backtrack on the assertion that the July 2012 bombing in Burgas, in which five Israeli tourists and their Bulgarian bus driver were killed, was carried out by Hezbollah.

In an interview with the Bulgarian newspaper Standart, Vigenin reiterated, “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 I asked our foreign partners to speed up the process of evidence collection.

“So, regardless of some speculations of the media, Bulgaria has not reconsidered its stand on Hezbollah,” she told the newspaper.

On June 5, asked about discussions in the European Union on whether to declare Hezbollah’s military wing a terrorist organization, Vigenin said in a radio interview, “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. There is an indication that it is possible [that Hezbollah was behind the bombing], but we cannot take decisions with important consequences for the EU based on indirect data,” she said.

Vigenin and her Socialist Party-led government took office at the end of May.

Bulgaria had concluded that Hezbollah was behind the attack following its own investigation.

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