Israel dismisses reports of rift with Bulgaria (TIMES OF ISRAEL) By ILAN BEN ZION 07/31/12)
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Bulgarian tourism minister’s visit touted as proof of amity between
Israeli officials swiftly dismissed a New York Times report published
on Tuesday which claimed that the Burgas bombing that killed five
Israelis has jeopardized Bulgarian relations with both Israel and
Bulgaria and Israel will maintain their friendly ties after the
Burgas bus bombing, President Shimon Peres said Tuesday during a
visit from Bulgarian Tourism Minister Delyan Dobrev.
Dobrev, in turn, assured Peres that Bulgarian relations with Israel
would only grow stronger in the wake of the bombing.
The New York Times reported Tuesday that Bulgarian-Israeli ties were
strained by Sofia’s unwillingness to assign blame for the Burgas
airport bombing to Hezbollah and Iran in lockstep with Jerusalem. It
quoted a Bulgarian political scientist saying that Bulgaria’s open
accusation of Hezbollah would be “as good as entering a minefield.”
The paper also noted that the Bulgars have “tried to contain details
about the investigation, hoping to avoid mistakes in a situation with
global political and security implications.”
Israeli Ambassador to Bulgaria Shaul Kamisa-Raz on Tuesday rejected
the Times’s claim saying that Bulgarian-Israeli relations are
extremely warm and good, and the authors of the article are unaware
of the current state of affairs.
The Sofia News Agency reported that Kamisa-Raz cited the Tourism
Minister Stas Mesizhnikov’s visit to Sofia days after the attack, and
Dobrev’s current trip to Israel as proof of Israeli-Bulgarian amity.
Kamisa Raz also noted that Bulgarian and Israeli cabinet members are
scheduled to meet in September, but gave no indication of where the
meeting would be held. (© 2012 THE TIMES OF ISRAEL 07/31/12)
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