EU Council Counter-Terrorism Cell Likely to Hold Hezbollah Meeting
An EU Council cell specialising in counter-terrorism - the CP931 group - is likely to hold an extraordinary meeting with Bulgarian experts in the next few days or weeks, according to EUobserver.
The meeting will be prompted by Tuesday's Bulgarian report stating that Lebanese organization Hezbollah may have been involved in last year's Burgas bus bombing
Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov stated Tuesday that Bulgarian investigators had "a well-founded assumption" that the perpetrators of the deadly attack belonged to the military formation of Hezbollah.
The Bulgarian findings are said to be raising the pressure on the EU to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist group, something that many of its members have been reluctant to do despite calls from the United States and Israel.
EUobserver has reminded that any decision to list Hezbollah would be taken by EU foreign ministers, following political dsicussions on its implications for EU foreign policy by EU diplomats in the so-called Coreper, MaMa and Relex Council units.
Some member states, such as the UK, already make a legal distinction between the political and military branches of Hezbollah. Others, such as France, the former colonial power in Lebanon, are reluctant to list it in case the move further destabilises the fragmented and war-scarred country, as well as the wider region.
EU's top counter-terrorism official, Gilles de Kerchove, recently noted that the bloc may refuse to include Hezbollah in its blacklist even if the organization was proven to be responsible for last year's terror attack in Bulgaria.
- » Germany Demands Bulgaria Step Up Pace of Judicial Reform
- » EU Commission Forecasts Bulgarian Economy to Grow by 1.5 % in 2016, 2 % in 2017
- » Bulgaria to Contribute EUR 5.9 M to EU Grant for Refugees in Turkey
- » EUR 35 M of Loans to be Provided to Bulgarian SMEs under Juncker Plan
- » Eurostat: Bulgaria's Unemployment Rate Was Below EU Average in December 2015
- » GRECO Urges Bulgaria to Do More to Boost Transparency of Party Funding