March 14 Warn of Bulgarian Accusation Repercussions

February 6, 2013, Wednesday // 06:09
Bulgaria: March 14 Warn of Bulgarian Accusation Repercussions
Lebanon Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri linked the accusations to internal political interests in Bulgaria especially with the parliamentary elections in the European country close. Photo by EPA/BGNES

The Daily Star

The March 14 general secretariat warned Wednesday of the repercussions of recent claims by Bulgaria that Lebanon's Hezbollah is responsible for the 2012 bus attack in Burgas, a statement by the group said.

Meanwhile, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri linked the accusations to internal political interests in Bulgaria especially with the parliamentary elections in the European country close.

"Such accusations will have political and non-political repercussions on Lebanon, especially if the European Union decides to label Hezbollah as a terrorist group," said the March 14 statement.

Bulgaria blamed Hezbollah Tuesday for a July 2012 bomb attack that killed five Israeli tourists, leading to renewed calls on the EU to declare the Lebanese movement a terrorist organization.

The March 14 said that listing Hezbollah as a terror group would damage Lebanon's image and inflict political, economic and security problems in the country.

"The Lebanese people refuse to become hostages to Hezbollah and have their interests compromised," said the statement.

Five Israeli tourists and their Bulgarian driver were killed in the bus bombing at Bulgaria's Black Sea Burgas airport in the deadliest attack on Israelis abroad since 2004.

Berri also commented Wednesday on the accusation and calls to list Hezbollah as a terror group saying that "it is against the interests of Lebanon and the Lebanese."

Berri linked the accusation to Hezbollah to "internal electoral interests" in Bulgaria.

"The issue has an internal political aspect especially that Bulgaria is preparing for the elections," said the speaker.

Bulgarian analysts Wednesday accused the government of not having enough proof to level what may turn out to a dangerous accusation, and of kowtowing to Washington and Israel.

However, Bulgaria's foreign minister insisted that his government has enough proof that the traces in this attack lead to Hezbollah's military wing.

President Michel Sleiman said Wednesday that the Bulgarian accusations against Hezbollah are being reviewed and that the Lebanese authorities are waiting to receive all documentation related to the case from the Bulgarian public prosecutor.

"The position taken by Prime Minister Najib Mikati regarding the [Bulgaria attack] was discussed Tuesday afternoon," said Sleiman.

Mikati Tuesday voiced Lebanon's readiness to cooperate with Bulgarian authorities on investigations into this matter.


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