On the 135th anniversary of the liberation of the Republic of Bulgaria, The Embassy of Bulgaria in Israel hosted a reception at the Accadia Hotel in Herzliya Pituach on March 3rd 2013, to celebrate the European country’s National Day.
HE. Ambassador Dimitar Mihaylov and his wife Nora welcomed Israeli Minister of Tourism Stas Misezhnikov, who participated as an honorary guest at the reception. Honorary Consul of the Republica of Bulgaria in Israel, presented the Bulgarian Ambassador, highlighting that he is a scholar of the history of Islam and speaks several different languages, making him one of the more highly distinguished diplomats in the world.
The Bulgarian Ambassador, who delivered his speech in Hebrew, English and Bulgarian, thanked everyone for sharing the celebration of the beginning of the Bulgarian modern State. The diplomat expressed his pleasure that bilateral ties between Bulgaria and Israel have reached an unprecedented level with productive cooperation in a number of diverse areas. “A step in this direction is an agreement that has been signed as of today between Medical University - Varna and University of Haifa.” he detailed.
Another important event that demonstrates Bulgaria’s relationship with Israel is the 70th anniversary of the rescue of the Bulgarian Jews, which will be celebrated with an exhibition entitled Tough Choices that Make a Difference: The Fate of the Bulgarian Jews. The exhibition of documents will take place at the EU headquarters in Brussels, where the presidents of Bulgaria and Israel are to be guests of honor. The documentary exhibition has been established by the Bulgarian Archives State Agency with some of the materials provided by the Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Authority Yad Vashem. Thousands of documents that narrate not only the rescue but also the tragic fate of 11,343 Jews from Yugoslavia and Northern Greece will be placed under scientific scrutiny and made available to the public, explained the Ambassador.
Minister of Tourism Stas Misezhnikov congratulated the people of Bulgaria on their national day on behalf of the government and the people of Israel. "Bulgaria is one of the most important and closest friends in Europe” because both countries share fundamental common values, such as democracy and strategy, he said. These similarities are reflected in the relations that Israel and Bulgaria maintain by nurturing cooperation in political, security, economic, tourism, scientific, academic and cultural fields. Moreover, the Minister added that Bulgaria has an important role in aiding Israel and strengthening its relations with the European Union.
Misezhnikov also commented on the terrorist incident in Burgas, expressing gratitude towards the Bulgarian Government “for its decision to publicise the findings of the investigation linking Hezbollah with the perpetrators of the attack".
The Israeli Minister reminded the audience that "the large community of Jews in Israel who came from Bulgaria is a bridge between our two nations and has helped to strengthen our relationship. The jews who came from Bulgaria stand at many important crossroads of Israeli society and culture. We note the importance of the building of bridges between the young generations in Bulgaria and Israel".
Mr. Misezhnikov explained that the historic link between both countries is also preserved intact by the remembrance and acknowledgement of the common sacrifices that its peoples withstood when opposing the Nazi regime and its policies during World War II. As did the Bulgarian Ambassador; the Israeli Minister observed that "this year, the Bulgarian Government will mark the 70 anniversary of the rescue of Bulgarian jewry with a series of events which will take place in Bulgaria, as well as in other countries, including Israel.”
Bulgaria's National Day, which this years occurs on March 3rd, signifies the liberation and freedom of the Bulgarian People after years of oppression. In this regard, the Jewish people can empathize with the desires for liberation and the efforts verted upon the construction of a nation, as they too achieved their national rebirth in their homeland after centuries of persecution.
Lastly, the Minister conveyed Israel's warm congratulations to the government and people of Bulgaria, wishing their country the very best and looking forward to further strengthening the close ties of friendship and cooperation between the two nations in the future.
The National Anthom of Bulgaria “Mila Rodino” ("Мила Родино" which means “My Motherland”), was played at the end of the protocol.