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Svetlan Stoev: Continuity in foreign policy will be my creed as a caretaker minister

12 May 2021 News

"The continuity of the foreign policy line is typical of diplomacy and I can assure you that this will be my creed as a caretaker minister," said the new caretaker Foreign Affairs Minister Svetlan Stoev at a ceremony for the handover and acceptance of the post by the current Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ekaterina Zaharieva at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"The main motto of the new government will be integrity, transparency and continuity. Having worked for so many years at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and knowing most of my colleagues, I assure you that this will apply in full force, "said Svetlan Stoev. "I will count on the help of everyone to implement our priorities, which will not be new," he added.

Minister Stoev stated that with a large part of the same professional team of the ministry the line of continuity and protection of national interests will continue. "If anyone expects or makes attempts to speculate on the national interests of this caretaker government, I can assure them that they are not on the right track," he said.

Regarding the policy towards the Republic of Northern Macedonia, Svetlan Stoev pointed out that the caretaker government has no authorization to change the framework position of Bulgaria, which has been adopted by consensus by all political powers in parliament. "What depends on the caretaker cabinet and the foreign minister will be done to continue the dialogue. From now on, everything is in the hands of the officials of the Republic of Northern Macedonia. "They are very aware of the Bulgarian position and should not speculate that there will be any change in the next 2-3 months, as long as this caretaker government lasts," he said.

"We have always been a sincere friend with the Republic of Northern Macedonia and I hope we will continue to be. I am convinced that Bulgaria is the country that, more than any other EU member, wants the Republic of Northern Macedonia to reform and start negotiations, but this can not happen at the cost of the Bulgarian national interest, "said Ekaterina Zaharieva.

She introduced the new caretaker minister and reviewed what had been achieved during her term.

"I had the pleasure of working with Svetlan Stoev as Minister of Foreign Affairs - he is a long-term employee, with 35 years of experience in the ministry, he has been ambassador of the Republic of Bulgaria three times," said Ekaterina Zaharieva. She recalled that he was director of the State Protocol during the most responsible presidencies for Bulgaria so far, including during the presidency of our country in the Council of the EU in 2018, and thanked him for the joint work. Ekaterina Zaharieva stressed that the Bulgarian presidency is still talked about as being one of the best organized. The fact that years later there is no presidency that has not set our priority for the European perspective of the countries of the Western Balkans as a central theme proves its success.

Among the achievements she pointed out Bulgaria's accession to the ERM II and the Banking Union, the progress towards membership in the OECD, including our country's membership in the Organization's Nuclear Energy Agency, the improvement of administrative services for citizens by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"Bulgarian diplomacy and administration have proved that Bulgaria is in the heart of Europe, that we can propose and implement policies and reach agreement on issues important to the EU," Zaharieva said.

Minister Stoev thanked Ekaterina Zaharieva for her work, including the opening of new embassies during her term.

"The main function of diplomacy is dialogue and networking. I hope this will be a priority for the next minister as well - to expand, not to close this exchange between the countries, "Stoev said.

The two ministers also made a joint statement on escalating tensions in Israel and the Palestinian Territories. They condemned the ongoing rocket attacks and assaults on civilians and called for de-escalation and restraint, responsibility and common sense on all sides. The full text of the statement is published on the following link on the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: https://mfa.bg/en/news/29582

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