EU: More Time Needed for Burgas Terror Investigation
The EU needs to consider carefuly all data from the investigation of the 2012 Burgas bus bombing, stated Tuesday EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.
Ashton's statement comes in response of an announcement made by the Bulgarian goverment Tuesday that Hezbollah probably stands behind the deadly attack.
This is the first time that the Bulgarian state has officially named an organization as responsible for the terrorist act, which claimed the lives of 5 Israeli tourists, their Bulgarian driver, and a presumed suicide bomber.
"The High Representative takes note of the results of the investigation into the Burgas terrorist attack," reads Ashton's statement, congratulating Bulgaria for progress in the investigation.
However, the EU foreign policy chief goes on by underlining "the need for a reflection over the outcome of the investigation.
"The EU and Member States will discuss the appropriate response based on all elements identified by the investigators," adds Ashton.
Bulgaria's choice of whether to name Hezbollah as standing behind the Burgas bus bombing was seen as pivotal as to whether the EU will officially label Hezbollah a terrorist organization.
Israel has thrown the blame on Hezbollah right after the July 18, 2012 attack, a move followed later by the US.
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Hezbollah has rejected a Bulgarian investigation that blamed it for a deadly 2012 bus bombing which killed five Israeli tourists and a bus driver.
The Lebanese Shia group's deputy leader said Israel was waging an "international campaign" against Hezbollah that would have no effect.
The Bulgarian report said two suspects were members of Hezbollah's armed wing.
The report prompted Israel's PM to call for Hezbollah to be banned as a terror group by EU nations.
Benjamin Netanyahu said the group had built a "worldwide terrorist" network and was planning attacks in two dozen countries.
Speaking a day after Bulgarian politicians and European police experts said the bomb plot had "obvious links" to Hezbollah, the group's deputy leader strongly denied the accusation.
The Bulgarian report was part of "allegations and incitements and accusations against Hezbollah" driven by Israeli paranoia over Hezbollah's continued military strength in southern Lebanon, he said.
"All these accusations against Hezbollah will have no effect, and do not change the facts," Naim Qassem said, according to Reuters news agency.
"We will not submit to these pressures and we will not change our priorities. Our compass will remain directed towards Israel."
Israel was quick to blame Hezbollah and Iran for the bus bombing in Burgas, on Bulgaria's Black Sea coast.
Tehran has always denied involvement, but Hezbollah has made no comment until now.
In Bulgaria, the country's foreign minister defended the Hezbollah allegation on Wednesday as commentators questioned whether Sofia had enough evidence to be certain of its claim.
"If Bulgaria did not have enough arguments to announce yesterday that the traces in this attack lead to Hezbollah's military wing, we would not have done it," Nikolay Mladenov told a TV station.
Analysts had questioned how Bulgaria's police and government were confident enough of their evidence to make the link to Hezbollah.
The country inevitably "relied heavily on resources from foreign security services" Tihomir Bezlov from the Centre for the Study of Democracy, a Sofia think-tank, told the AFP news agency.
Others described Bulgaria's decision to accuse Hezbollah as part of a wider "game" linked to various conflicts in the Middle East, AFP reported.
Imho that's either cowardice, and stupidity, and hypocrisy. But I don't think that this is anti-Israeli sentiment in particular. Look at situation in EU at large. EU authorities prohibit protest actions against Islamits. And those Muslim migrants have gone mad of their impunity. Those freaks rape and torture and kill their own children at least suspicion of their "impurity". And you can't express your opinion freely. Otherwise some Islamic moron would decide to shoot into your chest: http://freethinker.co.uk/2013/02/05/Danish-police-on-the-hunt-for-a-gunman-who-tried-to-kill-islam-critic-lars-hedegaard/
Together with Muslim migrants we've let crowds of fanatic maniacs into Europe. They are already dictating us their customs and principles. Soon they will make a branch of that very Hezbollah a ruling party in EU. And no EU official would dare to protest. And you are talking about anti-Israeli sentiments...
Question for Ms. Ashton and the EU: Is blowing up a bus of civilian tourists traveling in a European country considered an act of terrorism?
If 'yes' then would you consider those who perpetrate such acts to be 'TERRORISTS?
If so, would you officially label such organizations as such, with all appropriate diplomatic consequences?
If not, how do you justify your hypocrisy? Cowardice? Anti-Israeli sentiment? Stupidity?