Bulgaria and Israel to strengthen cooperation

Bulgaria & Israel Cooperation

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     Copyright: Reuters
    Bulgaria and Israel will strengthen strategic cooperation in tourism and security. This was agreed between the Minister of Tourism Stas Misezhnikov, Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov and Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev.
    Minister Misezhnikov: "Terrorism is an international phenomenon that knows no borders and that we must fight against. Bulgaria is a strategic anchor in terms of tourism and we will work to increase mutual cooperation in this area."
     (Communicated by the Ministry of Tourism)
    Bulgaria and Israel will strengthen strategic cooperation in the areas of tourism and security. This was announced by Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev at a joint press conference held earlier today in Sofia, Bulgaria.
    Tourism Minister Misezhnikov, who arrived in Bulgaria on Monday (23 July) at the head of a delegation of senior representatives of the Israeli tourism industry, thanked the Bulgarian Prime Minister on behalf of the Israeli Government for the effective and dedicated handling by the Bulgarian Government in caring for the terror victims and the investigation of the attack. During the press conference, the minister stated that the terrorists, who tried to damage the relations between the two countries, must not be allowed to succeed in their malicious intent and that the answer to terror is to strengthen the ties in all areas.
    Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev stated that, in his talks with US President Barack Obama and the British Prime Minister David Cameron, it was stressed that those responsible for these terror attacks will be punished and brought to justice. According to the President, the Bulgarian authorities are fully cooperating with the United States National Security as regards the investigation and with European security forces that are investigating the attack and following intelligence warnings related to the Olympic Games in London.
    Tourism Minister Misezhnikov added that, apart from those who are directly responsible for the attack, Hizbullah, justice must also be carried out with reference to their superiors - Iran - a terror state that tries to reach out throughout the world via its operational arms.
    Within the framework of strengthening political and tourist ties between the two countries, the governments of Israel and Bulgaria will meet in Jerusalem in September 2012 to discuss bilateral cooperation. In October, Bulgarian President Plevneliev will arrive in Israel for a state visit.
    Bulgaria holds a soft spot for Israeli vacationers. During the first half of 2012, there was an 11% increase in tourists from Bulgaria to Israel as compared to the same time last year. According to data from the Bulgarian Ministry of Tourism, nearly 139,000 Israelis visited Bulgaria in 2011. In 2011, over 8,000 Bulgarian tourists visited Israel.
    On Tuesday morning (24 July) Tourism Minister Misezhnikov will hold an official memorial ceremony at the site of the terror attack and lay a wreath on behalf of the Government of Israel. The minister will meet with the governors and mayors of Burgas and Varna, the two main tourism destinations for Israeli vacationers in Bulgaria. In addition, the minister will tour the hotels and entertainment areas in the region frequented by Israelis and meet with the heads of the Jewish community in Bulgaria.


  • 6 killed in terror attack on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria

    The bus carrying the Israeli Tourists
    Six people, five Israelis and the Bulgarian bus driver, were killed and over 30 wounded on Wednesday (July 18) in a suicide bombing attack on a bus carrying Israelis at Sarafovo Airport in Burgas, Bulgaria. The blast on the bus occurred soon after a charter plane from Ben-Gurion Airport, landed at 16:45. The bus was the second of four carrying Israeli tourists from the airport to hotels in the city. The seventh body was that of the suicide bomber.
    The Foreign Ministry formed a team of experts that flew to Burgas to assist local authorities in the investigation. The Israeli Embassy in Sofia has been mobilized and is ready to assist the team. The bodies of the Israeli victims and all those wounded in the terror attack were flown home to Israel.
    Smoke billows after blast at Bulgaria's Burgas airport
    Foreign Minister Liberman: "Hizbullah terrorists undertook this attack, aided by Iran's Revolutionary Guards." FM Liberman spoke with his Bulgarian counterpart Nikolay Mladenov in relation to the explosion.
    Foreign Minister Nickolay Mladenov: "Bulgaria will do everything in its power to clarify the causes of this terrible incident."
    PM Netanyahu: "All signs point towards Iran. Over the last few months we have seen Iran's attempts to attack Israelis in Thailand, India, Georgia, Kenya, Cyprus and other countries. Exactly 18 years to the day after the horrendous attack on the Jewish Community Center in Argentina, deadly Iranian terrorism continues to strike at innocent people. This is a global Iranian terror onslaught and Israel will react firmly to it."
    Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and asked to convey his condolences over the deaths of the Israeli tourists in the terrorist attack in Burgas. He said that the attack was not only against Israelis but against Bulgaria as well. The two agreed that Israel and Bulgaria would cooperate closely in investigating the attack.
    Prime Minister Netanyahu thanked Bulgarian Prime Minister Borissov and said that Iran and Hizbullah are conducting a campaign of terrorism against Israeli targets around the world.
    US President Barack Obama called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and expressed his condolences over the deaths of Israelis in the terrorist attack in Bulgaria. The two agreed that Israel and the US would work together in investigating the attack.
    Prime Minister Netanyahu thanked US President Obama for the call and said that Iran and Hizbullah are conducting a campaign of terrorism around the world. "Iran is a global terrorism state. It must bear the consequences," the Prime Minister said.
    The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attack aimed at Israeli tourists that occurred in Bulgaria on 18 July, causing several deaths of Israeli and Bulgarian citizens and numerous injuries. They expressed their deep sympathy and sincere condolences to the victims of this heinous act and to their families...
    The members of the Security Council underlined the need to bring perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of this reprehensible act of terrorism to justice, and urged all States, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions, to cooperate actively with all relevant authorities in this regard.
    The victims:
    • Maor Harush, 26, of Akko
    • Yitzchak Kolangi, 28, of Petah Tikva 
    • Amir Menashe, 27, of Petah Tikva
    • Elior Preis, 26, of Akko
    • Kochava Shriki, 44, of Rishon Lezion
    Mustafa Kyosov, 36, the bus driver, a Bulgarian Muslim from the village of Yurukovo in southwestern Bulgaria, died in the hospital two hours after the blast. He had worked for the bus company for two years. He was buried in his home village and is survived by his wife Emine and their 10-year-old daughter.