It is clear that Hamas must be eradicated, but at the same time it is clear that there are innocent residents and their representation and their protection must be sought in order to to create sustainable peace, Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov said on October 17.
Denkov, who is expected to president at a meeting of the government’s security council to discuss the situation following the attacks on Israel started by the Hamas terrorist organisation 10 days earlier, told reporters: “This is the struggle at the moment – how to make Hamas disappear so that passions can be calmed down and a sustainable solution can be sought”
He said that it was not known how many Bulgarians were in Gaza – the subject of attacks on Hamas by Israel, which last week called on civilians to evacuate the northern part of the area.
There was no stable communication with Bulgarians in Gaza “so it remains to be seen how these people can get out”.
Denkov said that Bulgaria has no way of organising a humanitarian corridor: “Bulgaria alone could hardly manage to organise such corridors, but it participates very actively, as part of the common European efforts”.
Bulgarian citizens could also return with flights to other countries, as this is a completely normal practice, he said.
Bulgaria is ready to send a flight when a large enough group is assembled.
Bulgaria’s government has arranged a number of evacuations from Israel to Bulgaria, on government aircraft and via private charter flights.
On the subject of a possible wave of refugees, Denkov said that the only stable solution was the protection of the external borders.
“Bulgaria is doing well at the moment, but we must be prepared for a more severe development of the refugee wave,” he said.
Denkov said that such an event was not immediately expected, but everything depends on how events will develop in the following days and weeks.
Labour and Social Policy Minister Ivanka Shalapatova told Bulgarian National Radio on October 17 that Bulgaria is prepared for a new wave of refugees and its border is secured with sufficient forces.
“There is no country that can handle it alone. We are ready to welcome unaccompanied minors. There will be many. We are ready to trigger the international protection procedure for them. There is an opportunity for them to be accommodated in a secure area for children. All systems are activated. Our hope is that this conflict will end sooner,” Shalapatova said.
Deputy Prime Minister Maria Gabriel said on October 17 that Bulgaria is not the direction to which a potential migration flow would go because of the crisis in the Gaza Strip.
(Photo of Denkov: government.bg)
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