Bulgaria’s interim PM will not go after Hezbollah for bus attack

(JTA) — Bulgaria’s interim prime minister, Marin Raikov, said he will not push the European Union to sanction Hezbollah, which the country has blamed for a terror attack on Israelis on its soil.

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Raikov made the announcement that his country would not call for the EU to label the Islamist Hezbollah a terror group Saturday during an interview with the state BNR radio station, Reuters reported.

“Bulgaria will not initiate a procedure (for listing Hezbollah as a ‘terrorist organization’),” Raikov told the radio station. “We will only present the objective facts and circumstances and let our European partners decide.”

Raikov was named interim prime minister last week, after the fall of the current government over poverty and corruption allegeations. New national elections are scheduled for May 12.

Bulgaria’s interior minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov announced in February that two men with links to the terrorist organization Hezbollah were implicated in the terrorist bus bombing on July 19 at the airport in Burgas, which targeted a bus of Israeli tourists and left five Israelis and their Bulgarian bus driver dead.

Hezbollah also financed the bomb attack on the bus, according to the Bulgarian investigation. 

U.S. and Israeli officials have said the EU should blacklist Hezbollah. Its inclusion would make it illegal for Hezbollah sympathizers in Europe to send money to the group, which the United States and Israel list as terrorist.

Israel has blamed both Hezbollah and Iran for the attack. Iran has denied responsibility and accused Israel of staging the attack.

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