Bulgaria Prime Minister Borissov Addresses AJC Global Forum





Bulgaria Prime Minister Borissov Addresses AJC Global Forum

JERUSALEM, June 13, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Bulgarian Prime

Minister Boyko Borissov, addressing the AJC Global Forum, extolled his

country’s close relations with Israel, recalled the efforts of his

countrymen to save Bulgaria’s Jewish population during World War II,

and expressed support for a two-state solution to the

Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“I feel at home and in the company of dear friends,” Borissov told the

AJC Global Forum last night. “I express my respect for the State of

Israel and appreciate its extremely important role regarding the

future of the region.”

Bulgaria-Israel relations “are based on clear principles of

interaction, on mutual confidence and on shared values. This is the

guarantee that our relations go beyond our personal friendship and

deepen so that they have a long-term horizon,” Borissov said. “There

has never been even one moment over the years when we could not count

on each other.”

Borissov, whose country currently holds the EU presidency, praised

Israel for assisting Europe. “Had it not been for Israel, Europe and

European civilization would have been in bigger jeopardy in the face

of rising radicalism and religious fundamentalism in the Middle East,”

he said.

The AJC Global Forum is the signature annual event of AJC, the premier

Jewish global advocacy organization. More than 2,400 participants,

including hundreds of young Jews, from across the United States and 55

other countries are registered for the four-day conference.

Borissov spoke about the efforts of Bulgarian citizens, the Bulgarian

Orthodox Church, and eminent public figures and intellectuals to “save

the entire Bulgarian Jewish community of approximately 50,000″ during

World War II.” This heroic feat was done despite the fact that

Bulgaria was allied with Nazi Germany.

Further, the prime minister said that “newly gathered facts confirm

that in the years of the Holocaust the Bulgarian consuls in Romania,

Hungary, Slovakia and other European states issued some 20,000 transit

Bulgarian visas to Jews from Western Europe, including children.”

Borissov thanked Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu “for his recognition

of what the Bulgarians did to save Bulgarian Jewish lives” and

announced that two identical monuments – in Sofia and Tel Aviv – will

soon be erected “to commemorate this historic fact and express our

joint gratitude.”

The prime minister, speaking as head of an EU member state and

President of the EU, expressed support for efforts to achieve through

negotiations a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“We are convinced that the Jewish people’s relation to Jerusalem is

indisputable and are not indifferent to the wish of the Jewish

population of Israel and of world Jewry and to the right of Israel,

being a sovereign state, to decide which city will be its capital and

to insist that it be internationally recognized,” said Borissov.

However, Bulgaria is not following the actions by the U.S., Guatemala,

and Paraguay to move their embassies to Jerusalem. “The status of

Jerusalem as the sacred site of the three monotheistic religions

should be agreed in the course of Israeli-Palestinian peace

negotiations that will lead to an accord on final status of the

Palestinian territories,” he said.

AJC has been deeply involved with Bulgaria since the late 1980s, after

the collapse of the communist regime, advocating for the

U.S.-Bulgaria-Israel relationship. Shalom, the umbrella body of Jewish

organizations in Bulgaria, is a longstanding AJC international

partner. A delegation from Shalom, led by President Alexander Oscar,

is in attendance at the AJC Global Forum. Viktor Melamed serves as the

director of AJC’s recently established presence in Bulgaria, AJC’s

sixth post in Europe. And AJC CEO David Harris, a frequent visitor to

Sofia, has been honored by the Bulgarian government.

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SOURCE American Jewish Committee

-0- 06/13/2018

/CONTACT: Kenneth Bandler, AJC Director of Media Relations, 212.891.6771, bandlerk@ajc.org

/Web Site: http://www.ajc.org

CO: American Jewish Committee

ST: Israel



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