Bulgarian PM, Patriarch condemn terrorism

At talks on January 13, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov and Bulgarian Orthodox Church head Patriarch Neofit strongly condemned all acts of terrorism and expressed solidarity with the victims of the attacks in Paris and with the French people.

This is according to a Bulgarian government media statement, which followed condemnation by the Borissov government on January 7 of the terrorist attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and his participation on January 11 in a Paris unity rally.

Neofit also spoke out earlier after the terrorist attacks in France, sending condolences via the French embassy in Sofia.

Most major political parties in Bulgaria have condemned the attacks, which caused 17 deaths, at the Charlie Hebdo offices and at a kosher supermarket in Paris. Three Islamist radical terrorists died when French police brought two sieges to an end, and others suspected of involvement are still being sought.

The office of the Chief Mufti, spiritual leader of Bulgaria’s Muslims, strongly condemned the attack on Charlie Hebdo, saying that it was a blow to all Muslims.

“The religious beliefs of Muslims do not create violence and terrorism, and terrorists can not belong to Muslim values,” the Chief Mufti’s office said, offering condolences to the families of those who died and to the entire French nation.

The Jewish community in Bulgaria planned to hold a memorial service at the Sofia Central Synagogue on January 13 for the victims of the terrorist attacks in France.

Speaking ahead of the service at the Synagogue, Shalom Organisation of the Jews in Bulgaria chairman Maxim Benvenisti said that the ceremony would pay tribute to all victims of terrorism, regardless of ethnicity, creed and religion.

“It disturbs me that we are staring in Paris, but we have forgotten that recently in Nigeria, thousands of people were killed, and a few days ago, 16 people were killed by a suicide bomber. We are all people, regardless of religion, skin color and ethnicity.”

One Bulgarian politician, Volen Siderov, leader of ultra-nationalist minority party Ataka, reportedly placed himself in line with various outlandish conspiracy theories that have appeared variously on some Russian or anti-Semitic/anti-Israeli websites, telling local media that he suspected a US conspiracy behind what happened in Paris, saying it was “theatre”, “like that on September 11 2001 in New York”.



The Sofia Globe staff

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