BEIRUT: The head of the EU said Tuesday European states needed to reflect carefully on the results of a probe implicating Lebanon’s Hezbollah in the 2012 bombing that claimed the lives of locals and Israeli tourists in Bulgaria.
“The implications of the investigation need to be assessed seriously as they relate to a terrorist attack on EU soil, which resulted in the killing and injury of innocent civilians,” a statement from the office of Catherine Ashton, the high representative of the European Union, said.
“The EU and member states will discuss the appropriate response based on all elements identified by the investigators,” the statement added.
Earlier Tuesday, Bulgaria’s interior minister said an investigation into the July 18, 2012, bus bombing in the Black Sea resort of Burgas pointed to the involvement of Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said three people were involved in the attack, two of whom had passports from Australia and Canada.
"There is data showing the financing and connection between Hezbollah and the two suspects," Tsvetanov told reporters.
"What can be established as a well-grounded assumption is that the two persons whose real identity has been determined belonged to the military wing of Hezbollah," he said.
Ashton commended Bulgaria on its investigation, which she described as “demanding.”
"The High Representative of the European Union Catherine Ashton takes note of the results of the investigation into the Burgas terrorist attack of 18 July 2012. She commends the Bulgarian authorities on the outcome of the demanding investigation process,” the statement said.
Meanwhile Israel and the US welcomed the results and urged the EU to take action against the Lebanese group.
“The attack in Burgas was an attack on European soil against a member of the European Union. We hope the Europeans will draw the necessary conclusions about the true character of Hezbollah," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement.
Israel and its ally the United States have pressured the EU to blacklist Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.
Ashton stressed Tuesday the “need for a reflection over the outcome of the investigation,” adding that the EU member states would discuss “the appropriate response “based on all elements identified by the investigators." – With Agencies.