U.S., Bulgaria Urge European Governments to Take Harder Stance Towards Hezbollah
The U.S. and Bulgaria are applying heavy pressure on the European Union (EU) to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist group, Israel Hayom reported.
On Monday in Brussels, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolai Mladenov presented EU foreign ministers with the findings of his country’s investigation into the July 2012 bus bombing at the Burgas Airport in which five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver were killed. The Bulgarian investigation found that Hezbollah was responsible for the attack.
Until now, the EU has resisted American and Israeli pressure to blacklist Hezbollah, claiming this could destabilize the Lebanese government and add to unrest in the Middle East.
Asked whether the EU should declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization, Mladenov said on Monday that “given the fact that we’ve already made quite firm statements about where we believe the responsibility for that attack lies, I think the answer is quite obvious.”
It was reported several days ago that France and Germany opposed blacklisting Hezbollah, although France has softened its position on the matter, saying “all options” were on the table, provided the evidence was strong enough.
U.S. National Security Adviser Tom Donilon wrote in the New York Times on Monday that Europe “can no longer ignore the threat that [Hezbollah] group poses to the continent and to the world.”
“The Bulgarian investigation has once again proved to the world what Hezbollah has tried for years to hide: that it remains engaged in international terrorist attacks against civilians,” he wrote.