Burgas bombing suspects Meliad Farah (L) and Hassan el-Hajj Hassan .
(photo credit: BULGARIAN INTERIOR MINISTRY)
An investigation which has been conducted for four years to determine those involved in the July 2012 terrorist attack on Burgas Airport is in the final stages of completion, Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev told President Reuven Rivlin on Thursday in Sofia.
Rivlin, who is on a state visit to Bulgaria, learned from his Bulgarian counterpart that the names of those to be charged will be announced in the near future. In the attack by a suicide bomber on a group of Israeli tourists, five Israelis, a Bulgarian bus driver and the terrorist were killed and 30 people injured.
The investigators are convinced the attack was carefully planned by the armed wing of Hezbollah.
Bulgaria and Israel have been cooperating closely to track down the terrorist’s operators, as well as those involved in the operation in Bulgaria. Both countries have introduced more stringent security precautions to ensure such an attack is not repeated.
Despite the trauma of the attack, Israeli tourism to Bulgaria continues to grow. In 2015, 155,000 Israelis visited Bulgaria, said the Bulgarian president.
Rivlin also met with Prime Minister Boko Borisov, whom he had previously met in February when the latter visited Israel.
The two discussed the situation in the Middle East, and spoke about the importance that Bulgaria places on attracting Israeli investors with a view to boosting both foreign and bilateral trade.
Borisov came to Israel soon after the 2012 terrorist attack to discuss closer security cooperation.
This was again discussed Thursday with Rivlin.
Late Thursday the two presidents inaugurated a monument commemorating the saving of Bulgaria’s Jewish community during the Holocaust. The country’s 48,000 Jews were saved from deportation to Nazi concentration camps with the help of Dimitar Peshev – who was the deputy speaker of Bulgaria’s National Assembly, leaders of the Bulgarian Church led by Metropolitan Stefan of Sofia, and ordinary citizens.