World leaders condemn Burgas terror attack

Statements of sympathy and support pour in from US, EU, UK and UN following attack on Israelis in Bulgaria.

July 19, 2012 10:54
2 minute read.
US President Barack Obama at NATO conference

US President Barack Obama at NATO conference 370 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Jim Young)


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World leaders resolutely condemned Wednesday's terrorist attack against Israeli citizens in Bulgaria and offered solemn condolences to the victims' families.

US President Barack Obama called Prime Minster Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday night to express his condolences over the "barbaric" attack, which he called "outrageous." The two leaders agreed that the US and Israel would work together to investigate the attack.

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A bomb tore through a bus of Israeli tourists at Bulgaria's Burgas Airport Wednesday night, killing seven people.

"As Israel has tragically once more been a target of terrorism, the United States reaffirms our unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security, and our deep friendship and solidarity with the Israeli people," Obama said in a statement earlier in the evening.

Netanyahu thanked Obama for the call, saying that Iran and Hezbollah are waging a terror campaign around the world. "Iran is a global terror state that must face the consequences of its actions," the prime minister said.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, fresh off a visit to the Holy Land, said the US was ready to offer any assistance Israel needed to apprehend the perpetrators of the "heinous" terrorist attack, which she condemned "in the strongest terms."

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday condemned the attack "in the strongest possible terms," while EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton said she was "shocked" and "appalled" by the acts. "The terrorists who planned and carried out this attack must be brought to justice,” Ashton added.

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague offered his condolences as well, saying that "the full tragedy of the attacks is not yet clear.”

Sounding a slightly different note, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov on Thursday urged Israeli tourists to continue holidaying in Bulgaria, stating that Wednesday's terror attack was a one-off incident.

Mladenov stressed that the attack was the first of its kind in the country, and that Bulgaria was "one of the friendliest nations" that has good relations with Israelis. He added that if Israelis stopped visiting Bulgaria due to the attack, "this is what the terrorists want to achieve."

Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev said Wednesday that Bulgarian authorities met with members of the Mossad a month ago, but received no warning of an expected attack, the Sofia News Agency reported.

Bulgarian authorities would have acted seriously if they had received advanced warning of a terror attack, he added.

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