World Bulletin / News Desk
Bulgaria has asked three lawmakers from the Palestinian Hamas party to leave the country although they arrived at the invitation of an NGO.
The Hamas government in Israel-besieged Gaza Strip on Friday condemned Bulgaria's expulsion of a party delegation visiting the country, for giving in to Israeli pressure.
Bulgarian security forces on Friday raided the hotel rooms of a visiting Hamas delegation, ordering them to leave the country, a party statement said.
"We condemn this act, which reflects the scale of compliance with Zionist pressures," government spokesman Taher al-Nunu said.
"Not complete pro-Israel"
Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said on Friday that the lawmakers had entered the country with regular visas "issued, however, on different motives from what they have demonstrated here."
He said they had left the country. In an earlier statement, Bulgaria's Foreign Ministry said this was an "unannounced visit of a group related to Hamas," and added that they "will not be received by any Bulgarian institutions."
The director of the Center for Middle East Studies, Mohd Abuasi, said he had invited the three Palestinians to show that Bulgaria "is not a completely pro-Israeli country."
Hamas leader and MP Yahya al-Abadseh said the Bulgarian government's actions were contrary to all diplomatic norms, and that the move highlighted the huge pressure the Palestinian leadership is under.
Parliament chairman Ahmad Bahar called for Bulgaria to offer a formal apology, saying the visiting deputies were protected by parliamentary immunity.
The PLO ambassador in Bulgaria Ahmed Madbouh told the Maan news agency he was informed by the Bulgarian foreign ministry that they "regret" the presence of the Hamas delegation and took a decision to ask them to leave.
Last Mod: 17 Şubat 2013, 09:51