Israeli officials were tight-lipped Thursday about Bulgarian Foreign Minister
Nikolai Mladenov’s surprise visit here to brief leaders on its probe into last
July’s Burgas bombing that killed five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus
While Israel blamed Hezbollah and its sponsor Iran for the
attack, the Bulgarians have not yet issued their final report on the matter, due
to be released either next week or the beginning of February.
conclusions of the report are expected to have a significant impact on whether
the EU finally adds Hezbollah to its list
of terrorist organizations, something
the US has already done and which Israel has been pushing for more than a
decade. Such a move could lead to the freezing of Hezbollah’s assets in
According to Bulgarian and Israeli sources, Mladenov met Thursday
with President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, as well as
with National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror. No details of the meetings were
A Bulgarian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said the issue of
the probe was discussed in the meetings. “Results of the investigation will be
made public once it is completed and Bulgaria has enough evidence to back it
up,” she added.
Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov, in Dublin
for talks with European Union ministers on Thursday, was also expected to update
Bulgaria's EU allies with the latest news, his office said.
said the bombing was plotted outside the country and carried out by foreigners
but has yet to publish full findings from its long-running investigation, which
officials say is not yet complete.
In September, Britain and the
Netherlands urged other EU governments to impose sanctions on Hezbollah for
providing support to Syria's President Bashar Assad.