Bulgaria’s interim PM will not push EU on Hezbollah terrorism label


(JTA) — Bulgaria’s interim prime minister said he will not push the European Union to label Hezbollah a terror group, despite the country’s finding that Hezbollah was behind a terror attack on its soil.

Marin Raikov made his remarks on Saturday during an interview with the state BNR radio station, Reuters reported.

Bulgaria had implicated Hezbollah for the July 19 bus bombing at the airport in Burgas that targeted a bus of Israeli tourists. Five Israelis and their Bulgarian bus driver were killed.

"Bulgaria will not initiate a procedure [for listing Hezbollah as a terrorist organization]," Raikov told the radio station. "We will only present the objective facts and circumstances, and let our European partners decide."

Raikov was named interim prime minister last week following the fall of the government over corruption allegations and a dismal economy that has impoverished many Bulgarians. National elections are scheduled for May 12.

Bulgaria’s interior minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, announced in February that two men with links to Hezbollah were implicated in the July 19 bus bombing. Hezbollah also financed the attack, according to the Bulgarian investigation. 

U.S. and Israeli officials have said the EU should blacklist Hezbollah. Its inclusion would make it illegal for Hezbollah sympathizers in Europe to send money to the group, which the United States and Israel list as terrorist.

Israel has blamed both Hezbollah and Iran for the attack. Iran has denied responsibility and accused Israel of staging the attack.

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