Bulgaria on Thursday denied reports that Hamas officials had arrived in the country to meet with political figures.
The announcement, reported on Israel Radio, came in response to a Hamas statement that a delegation of its representatives was in Bulgaria to meet with political figures in what would be the organization’s first such visit to a European Union country.
Hamas member of parliament Ismail al-Ashqar, and members of the Palestinian Legislative Council Salah al-Bardawill and Mushir al-Masri, were part of the group that was set to meet with leaders of Bulgarian political parties and community figures, the Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported.
Earlier this month Bulgaria pointed the finger at Iranian-backed Hezbollah for being behind the July 2012 bombing of a tour bus in Burgas that killed five Israeli tourists and their local driver. Although not directly named in the Bulgarian accusation, Iran reportedly considered withdrawing its ambassador over the incident. Iran also sponsors the Gaza-based Hamas.