July 7, 2013 -- New York -- AJC urged the European Union to designate Hezbollah a terrorist organization, after Bulgaria reaffirmed its conclusion that the Iranian-sponsored global terror group was responsible for the deadly attack at the Burgas (Sarafovo) airport a year ago this month. The bomb killed five Israelis and the Bulgarian bus driver.
“There is no change in the Bulgarian position regarding the terrorist act in Sarafovo,” Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetlin Yovchev asserted on July 4th. “I am familiar with all the facts and the investigation conclusions up to this moment. My expert opinion is that the assessment and the statement that followed are correct. I support them.”
Yovchev emphasized that he agreed with his predecessor, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, that there is a “justified assumption” that Hezbollah carried out the July 19th Burgas bus bombing. The minister’s announcement at a press conference was intended to dispel speculation that there might have been a policy shift since Bulgaria’s national elections in May and the formation of a new coalition government.
The new Interior Minister said “further evidence had been added” to the investigation which supported the conclusion that Hezbollah was behind the bus bombing.
“To its credit, Bulgaria, an EU member state, has delivered another strong and forthright indictment,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “In response, the 28 EU foreign ministers should demonstrate moral clarity, take meaningful action to label Hezbollah a terrorist organization when they meet on July 22, and end the group's current ability to fundraise and recruit in Europe.”
In addition to the Bulgarian government’s conclusion, a court in Cyprus, another EU member state, in March convicted a Hezbollah operative who had been tracking Israeli visitors to the island nation for a possible attack similar to the one in Bulgaria. And Hezbollah has been deeply implicated in supporting the murderous Assad regime in Syria, where an estimated 100,000 people have been killed in the ongoing civil war.