BEIRUT: Bulgarian Charge d'Affaires to Lebanon Plamen Tzolov said Thursday his government did not request that Hezbollah be blacklisted as a terror organization when it submitted its report to the European Union into the 2012 Burgas bus bombing that killed five Israeli citizens.
Following talks with former President Amin Gemayel, the Kataeb leader’s office quoted Tzolov as saying that Sofia had not asked the EU to blacklist Hezbollah when it handed the regional organization its report on the bus attack in the Black Sea resort of Burgas.
He added that the investigation into the attack was still ongoing and it would remain confidential.
Earlier this month, Bulgaria said two men with links to Hezbollah were behind the attack.
The accusations led to renewed U.S. and Israeli calls on the EU to blacklist the Lebanese group.
On Monday, Bulgaria’s foreign minister urged European governments to take a harder stance toward Hezbollah.
Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov told reporters in Brussels Monday Europe should take collective measures against Hezbollah, Reuters news agency reported.
Tzolov, according to Gemayel’s office, said that the process of blacklisting a group needed to undergo a critical evaluation that takes into consideration all the facts of the case and required a unanimous decision by the 27 member states of the EU.
He added that European foreign ministers had studied the case but that deliberations among them were confidential.
Hezbollah’s secretary general has said that his party will refrain from commenting on the accusation but that it will monitor developments in the case.
Hours after Sofia accused the two men in the case, Hezbollah’s deputy leader Sheikh Naim Qassem indirectly dismissed the charges, accusing Israel of waging a global terror campaign against the Lebanese group. – With Reuters