Source: Poland, Czechs balk on blacklisting Hezbollah

June 14, 2013 01:33

Poland and the Czech Republic expressed “reservations” about blacklisting Hezbollah at a discussion in Brussels earlier this month, JTA has learned.

Both Poland and the Czech Republic are considered more supportive of Israel than Western European nations like France and Germany, both of which supported blacklisting Hezbollah, the source said.

The positions were expressed at a June 4 meeting to discuss Europe’s response to claims that Hezbollah was behind a July bus bombing in Burgas, Bulgaria. The source also reported that a Bulgarian representative said the link between Hezbollah and the attack was “weak,” an apparent retreat from Bulgaria’s announcement in February that the Lebanese group was behind the Burgas attack, which killed five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian national.

Convened at the request of the United Kingdom, the meeting was intended to initiate a European Union effort to blacklist Hezbollah’s military wing. Efforts to name Hezbollah a terrorist group intensified after Bulgaria’s announced in February that it believed two Hezbollah operatives were responsible for the attack.

Bulgaria’s foreign minister, Kristian Vigenin, said Monday that Sofia stands by its February announcement.

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