Bulgaria not to move to blacklist Hezbollah

Bulgaria's new interim prime minister said he would not initiate any move to impose EU sanctions on Hezbollah.

Bulgaria not to move to blacklist Hezbollah

World Bulletin / News Desk

Bulgaria's new interim prime minister said on Saturday he would not initiate any move to impose EU sanctions on Hezbollah.

With backing by Israel, Bulgaria in February accused Hezbollah in a bombing in the Black Sea resort of Burgas last year that killed five Israelis in an accusation that opposition saw "quick blame" after pressure.

Israel also has stepped up lobbying in Brussels and Paris, calling on European governments to follow the United States in listing the Lebanese coalition partner as a "terrorist organisation" and impose financial sanctions on it.

Raikov, a career diplomat, took over at the head of a technocrat administration on Wednesday after mass protests against poverty and corruption by opposition groups and other activists brought down Bulgaria's centre-right government.

He was appointed by the president to maintain market confidence and placate protesters before an election on May 12.

Opposition leaders had also used the protests to denounce what they saw as irresponsible government accusations that Hezbollah was behind last year's bombing.

"Bulgaria will not initiate a procedure," Raikov told the state BNR radio station. "We will only present the objective facts and circumstances and let our European partners decide."

Last month, then-interior minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said three people were involved in the bombing and an investigation suggested they had links to Hezbollah.

Last week, the European Commission said the EU would consider imposing sanctions on Hezbollah but did not yet have sufficient evidence of its activities in Europe to make a decision.

Last Mod: 17 Mart 2013, 10:48
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