Bulgaria vows not to bow to Iraq kidnappers

SOFIA, Bulgaria, July 9 (UPI) -- The Bulgarian government said Friday it would not change its policy in Iraq after two of its nationals were kidnapped by militants.

The Al Jazeera television network said Thursday the two, both civilian truck drivers, would be killed by their captors within 24 hours if the U.S. military refused to release prisoners taken during the fighting.


Bulgarian Foreign Minister Solomon Passy told the BTV television station Friday his country's foreign policy would not change in the face of such setbacks.

Bulgaria has more than 450 troops in Iraq and is a staunch ally of the United States. In the fighting so far, six Bulgarians have been killed.

The Bulgarian authorities have recommended their civilian nationals to stay out of Iraq.

Bulgaria joined NATO earlier this year and was one of a group of countries from the former communist world to sign letters supporting U.S. policy on Iraq prior to last year's invasion.

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