Bulgaria’s FM: Two hostages of Bulgarian origin in Gaza

There are two hostages of Bulgarian origin in Gaza, Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Maria Gabriel said on November 6 after accompanying Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov on a visit to the State of Israel to express Bulgaria’s solidarity with that country after it came under large-scale attack from terrorist group Hamas.

Speaking in Sofia on the Bulgarian delegation’s return from Israel, Gabriel said: “We met with families of hostages and it became clear that there are two hostages of Bulgarian origin. This is the information we can share so far, we continue in coordination with the State of Israel and with the parties involved in the negotiations to make sure that lead to the release of the hostages”.

One of the main objectives of our visit to Israel was to express our full support to Israel that it has every right to protect its citizens from terrorist attacks and rocket attacks, Denkov said.

“The atrocities that have been committed are indescribable. Some of them have been recalled to us again today. Israel has every right to protect its citizens. But it must not be allowed to mix the terrorists of Hamas with the Palestinian population…One of the goals of meetings today was to make sure that the Israeli government takes all measures to clearly separate the terrorists from the innocent population, and that is also our assurance. We will continue to help both sides as much as we can,” Denkov said.

Gabriel highlighted the three key messages – “solidarity, gratitude and coordination” that she and Denkov conveyed to Israel and the Israeli people.

“It was important for us to express our gratitude because Bulgaria was the first to evacuate its short-term resident compatriots and the 36 Bulgarian citizens and their family members were in the first group to be evacuated from the Gaza Strip,” said Gabriel, who expressed hope that there would not be regional escalation.

“One of the main goals was to express our full support to the state of Israel. We will help both sides as much as we can, but Israel has the right to protect its citizens when they are attacked, to respond accordingly,” Denkov said.

During his visit to Israel, enkov and Gabriel met with Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen.

Cohen expressed sincere thanks for the decisive support stated by Bulgaria regarding Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas’ terrorism. He emphasised that Israel’s war against terrorism is a war on behalf of the entire enlightened world.

Within his visit to Jerusalem, Denkov met relatives of people kidnapped in Gaza.

“We will do everything possible to help. This is a nightmare, humanity is important. We must stand together,” Denkov told them after he heard their stories about the events following the war’s start.

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