Sofia Echo


Israeli and Bulgarian foreign ministers 'united' on Syria and Iran

Author: Gabriel Hershman Date: Fri, Mar 02 2012 3040 Views
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Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman and his Bulgarian counterpart Nikolai Mladenov stressed the healthy state of the two countries' bilateral ties and the unanimity of their approach to Syria and Iran during a joint press conference in Sofia on March 2.

Mladenov noted the mutual assistance between the two countries, Bulgarian help with forest fires in Israel and Israeli support during the recent Bulgarian floods.
Mladenov stressed his concern about the violent crackdown in Syria, urging  the regime to "respect human life".  He also underlined Bulgaria's support for "secular governance".

The Bulgarian Foreign Minister pressed for the relaunching of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, mindful of the ultimate goal of peaceful co-existence and economic development.

Bulgaria, Mladenov said, categorically supported sanctions against Iran and working with Nato and the EC to convey the unacceptability of such a nation working in the field of nuclear energy."I hope that our messages will be understood," he said.

Lieberman said that Bulgaria and Israel were currently enjoying "their best page" in bilateral relations. He noted Bulgaria's support during crucial moments in Israel's history and reciprocal, high profile visits of ministers. He said that the current situation in Syria was "unacceptable". He said that "normal people think it's natural to stop this bloodshed and the killing machine".

"I would like to stress that Iran is a problem, not just in terms of its nuclear ambitions. It's an unacceptable regime," said Lieberman. "All the messages they send to the world are unacceptable. I'll mention only the violent seizure of the UK embassy in Tehran, the attempt to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador on American soil, their support for the Syrian regime, their support for all terroristic activity in Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan and of course their close ties with all terrorist organisations like Hezbollah. I think it's unacceptable that the president of a country, which is a member of the UN, can call for wiping out the state of Israel. Sanctions are a step in the right direction but we don't see any readiness from the regime in Tehran to give up their ambitions. I can only repeat again that we keep all options on the table."

Regarding Syria, Lieberman noted that the opposition, anti-Assad forces were motivated by internal issues and longstanding grievances. It had "nothing to do with Israel, Jews or Zionists", he said, a reference to opponents of Israel who accuse it of fomenting regional conflicts.

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