Everything that’s wrong with the EU’s approach to Terrorism
One year ago today, a terrorist attacked a bus filled with Israeli tourists in the Bulgarian city of Burgas, murdering six people, including a pregnant woman and the 36-year old bus driver. Thirty-two people, including an 11 year old child and two pregnant women were injured in the bombing, as well.
At a memorial service today, Bulgaria’s Interior Minister reiterated what has long been widely believed, that Iranian-proxy, Lebanon-based terror group, Hizb’allah (which has been implicated in a number of terrorism case around the world — Ethiopia, Nigeria, Cyprus — during the past year), was behind the bombing:
SOFIA (Reuters) - Bulgaria has no doubts that the Lebanese Islamist group Hezbollah was behind a bus bombing that killed five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian driver at the Black Sea city of Burgas exactly a year ago, the interior minister said on Thursday.
“There are clear signs that say Hezbollah is behind the Burgas bombing,” Interior Minister Tsvetlin Yovchev told reporters before a commemoration ceremony and opening of a monument to the victims of the attack at the Burgas airport.
So, naturally, the EU, of which Bulgaria is a card-carrying member, has taken decisive action against the group which committed such a brazen act of terrorism on European soil, right? Wrong.
Evidence that Hezbollah was behind the bombing was a main reason why Britain sought the blacklisting of the Shi’ite Muslim’s group military wing by the European Union, a move that has yet to win the support of some governments.
EU ambassadors discussed the issue on Thursday but a small number of countries objected to the British proposal, diplomats said. EU foreign ministers will now attempt to reach an agreement at a meeting in Brussels on Monday.
“There will be a discussion on Monday. There is near-consensus and we are confident it will be agreed,” said one EU diplomat from a country backing the proposal.
However, another diplomatic source said more consideration should be given to the impact that blacklisting Hezbollah’s military wing would have on stability in the Middle East.
Today, Lebanon’s government weighed in on the issue. As reported in Lebanon’s Daily Star newspaper:
: Lebanon will formally ask the European Union to keep Hezbollah off a list of terrorist organizations, because the party is an “essential component of Lebanese society.”
In a statement issued on Thursday, President Michel Sleiman said he tasked the caretaker foreign minister, Adnan Mansour, with instructing Lebanon’s representative to the EU to submit the request, Baabda Palace said in a statement.
Anyone taking bets on which way the EU goes on this one? My bet is the same way they went last month:
The European Union failed on Thursday to blacklist Hezbollah as a terrorist group in fear that such a move would lead to instability in Lebanon and the Middle East.
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On June, EU counter-terror specialists met on the issue but failed to reach unanimity on blacklisting Hezbollah after objections from several countries.
France, Germany and the Netherlands have backed Britain in seeking to blacklist Hezbollah. Despite being backed by the majority of the 27 EU member states, unanimity is needed to support the proposal.
Countries rejecting Britain’s move said they feared to destabilize the politically fragile Lebanon, where Hezbollah is in the government.
On a side note, it is worth remembering the position of Lebanon’s government the next time they whine about any retaliation to an attack by Hizb’allah on a neighboring sovereign state.