Security Agency: Hamas Visit Was Threat for Bulgaria
Bulgaria's State Agency for National Security has issued a statement confirming that it has expelled representatives of Hamas who visited Bulgaria.
The Hamas delegation left Bulgaria Friday morning after being requested to do so by the agency, also known as DANS.
"The four Palestinians expelled for Bulgaria posed a serious threat for national security," reads the DANS statement.
Until recently, media reports spoke about only 3 Palestinian members of Hamas as being in Bulgaria.
The Security Agency adds that it acted on art. 42 of Bulgaria's Foreigners Act, which allows for foreign nationals to be expelled if they pose a threat for public order or national security.
According to DANS, the four legally arrived in Bulgaria on a private invitation, but during their stay "information was received which gives reasons to believe that their presence poses a serious threat for national security."
The Hamas representatives were in Bulgaria on the invitation of the Bulgarian Center for Global and Middle East Studies.
The conference in which they were to take part was called off, after the visit was cut through.
Friday a Palestinian agency reported that the Hamas representatives' hotel rooms in Sofia were stormed by security forces, something not confirmed by DANS.
Thursday Bulgarian Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikolay Mladenov had a hard time assuring the international community, and in particular the Palestinian Authority, that the Hamas representatives were not in Bulgaria on an official state invitation and had met no official state representatives.
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