FM: Bulgaria Can't Label Hezbollah Terrorist Organization

February 9, 2013, Saturday // 02:02
Bulgaria: FM: Bulgaria Can't Label Hezbollah Terrorist Organization
Bulgaria's Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikolay Mladenov. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria does not have a legal framework to classify an entity as a terrorist organization, according to Bulgarian Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikolay Mladenov.

Tuesday Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov had suggested that Hezbollah might be behind the July 18, 2012 terror attack against Israeli tourists in Burgas.

This was a move greatly expected by the US and Israel, in the hope that now the EU can officially label Hezbollah as a terror group.

"Bulgaria does not possess the legal framework allowing to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization, the way the UK or the Netherlands have done," said Mladenov in an interview for Darik Radio Saturday.

The Bulgarian top diplomat announced that Bulgaria's findings on the Burgas bus bombing probe will be discussed at the EU Foreign Ministers' meeting on February 18.

"A lot of details of the findings will be discussed. In the following months and weeks what we found related to the attack will not remain without its consequences on the part of the EU," said Mladenov.

The office of EU Foreign Affairs High Representative Catherine Ashton has taken a balanced position on the case, saying there are "other options" than classifying Hezbollah as terrorist.

"After we have stated that Hezbollah's military wing has responsibility, you should not expect us to take a soft or unclear position in discussions from now on," stated Mladenov Saturday.

In the interview, the Bulgarian Minister of Foreign Affairs was resolute that in announcing the Hezbollah link, the cabinet was acting under no foreign pressure whatsoever.


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