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.
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"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
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."
"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
"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