'Bulgaria shares warm ties with Israel'

Bulgarian FM Nikolay Mladenov calls visit the sign of a "true friend."

June 29, 2010 19:37
1 minute read.
Nikolay Mladenov and Shimon Peres

Nikolay Mladenov and Shimon Peres. (photo credit: AP)

The relations between our countries come from an emotional connection, not our economic interests, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov said to President Shimon Peres during a meeting on Tuesday.

"I came to visit in order to underline that true friends are not only friends when it suits them, but during the true hour of need," Mladenov said.

He continued to say that the close ties with Israel stems from a shared history during World War II. "We are lucky that the majority of Bulgarian Jews were saved and were able to go on to build Israel. This [history] creates a strong, emotional connection and responsibility on our part to ensure Israel's safety and its future."

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"As members of the European Union and NATO, we want to have a better understanding of your standpoint. We want to help advance the peace process because Israel's security effects Europe and Bulgaria's security," the Bulgarian foreign minister asserted.

"Israel's prosperity influences all of us," he continued, "Sofia and Tel Aviv are not that far apart from each other."

"We share [Israel's] worries regarding certain aspects of the situation. Particularly regarding Iran's nuclear program," Mladenov exclaimed.

"We believe that the UN and EU's sanctions need to be properly understood in Teheran, and the proper way to dole out the sanctions is not to close the door, but rather to call for a complete and open negotiation regarding the character of Iran's nuclear plan. Everything needs to be laid out on the table, and we need to implement the UN Security Council's decisions and impede their uranim enrichment program," he added.

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