We quoted here yesterday a report that, with a recent change of government, the Bulgarians were now backtracking from their earlier assessment that Hezbollah stood behind the July 2012 terror attack on a busload of Israelis at Burgas airport. [See "10-Jun-13: Will appeasing Hezbollah work better now than it did with Nazi Germany?"]
Evidence of the retreat? See this Reuters report from last Wednesday for instance: “Bulgaria now says Hezbollah’s role in bus bombing unproven“. And the New York Times: “Bulgaria Pulls Back on Blame for Hezbollah“.
Now Bulgaria’s Foreign Minister Kristian Vigenin has clarified, in the wake of those reports of a retreat, that they are untrue and Reuters, the NYTimes and others have it wrong. Bulgaria has not reassessed its conclusion, he said [Sofia Globe]. Bulgaria continues to believe Hezbollah was behind the attack and responsible for the killings.
This is important because, as noted yesterday, the government of Ireland – along with Sweden, Finland and Italy – are shamefully blocking efforts by the UK, France and others to blacklist Hezbollah. (Ireland currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU.) Bulgaria carried out an extensive investigation over the past year into the terror bombing at their airport, and their view obviously carries weight.
A new Bulgarian government, led by the Bulgarian Socialist Party, the former Communists, took power a week ago. The previous governing party, Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria, was regarded (says the NYT) as more attuned to the west. The previous government’s interior minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, said in February that the Bulgarians had identified, but not captured, two conspirators, one Canadian and one Australian, both Hezbollah members of Lebanese descent. The elaborate operation leading to the cowardly attack on tourists involved a remote detonator for the bomb and travel by the conspirators from Lebanon to Warsaw, Berlin and finally Bulgaria.
Bulgaria’s sensitive relations with the Islamic world and geolocation in the eastern Mediterranean are clearly part of the squeeze in which its leaders now find themselves.
But how – other than in the obvious way – do you justify the excessive ‘understanding’ of Hezbollah’s undisguised terrorism-driven bloodlust on the part of the Irish, the Finns and the Swedes?
Incidentally, the Bulgarian reaffirmation of Hezbollah culpability first came in a note sent to – who else – the Irish ambassador six days ago. That was reported in a Bulgarian source [FOCUS, June 6, 2013] but got zero international coverage until today.
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