Foreign Minister Vigenin Receives Bulgaria’s Honorary Consuls
Bulgarian Foreign Minister Kristian Vigenin welcomed the country's honorary consuls from around the world for a conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In the first part of his opening address, Minister Vigenin outlined the priorities of Bulgaria's foreign policy.
"Bulgaria aims to conduct an active, but also reasonable foreign policy, on the basis of guaranteeing its national security and interests, as well as within the framework of the European Union and NATO. We are interested in developing a unified, strong and effective European Union, relying on principles of solidarity and the sustainable utilization of funds", Vigenin opened.
Bulgaria's top diplomat reiterated the key role of NATO for safeguarding regional security and stressed that Bulgaria supports its enlargement. He added that the country seeks to play a leading role in regional diplomacy, both in the Balkans and the Black Sea region.
Maintaining constructive and mutually beneficial relations with global powers is another of Bulgaria's priorities.
"It is extremely important for us to continue our strategic partnership with the United States of America, due to our shared values and the country's leading international role. At the same time, without putting into question Bulgaria's strategic orientation, we also have an interest in maintaining mutually beneficial relations with Russia. The linguistic, cultural, historic and religious closeness our people share, are an important factor in our relations", Vigenin said, adding that Bulgaria stands firmly behind the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
In the latter part of his speech, Vigenin talked about the important role of Bulgaria's honorary consuls.
"The Republic of Bulgaria's honorary consuls have an important role in the fulfillment of the above-mentioned priorities. It would not be an exaggeration if I said that they are a key instrument in our foreign policy and part of our diplomatic network. The honorary consuls assist in the bilateral relations in multiple spheres, such as trade, investments, tourism, culture, and education. They are a bridge between Bulgaria and the respective country, especially significant in places where we do not have a diplomatic mission", the Foreign Minister commented.
Kristian Vigenin thanked the honorary consuls for their adequate responses in cases where Bulgarian citizens abroad have found themselves in situations of emergency or in need of legal assistance. In the future, efforts will be geared towards broadening the functions of the honorary consuls, according to the Foreign Minister.
The Doyen of Bulgaria's Honorary Consuls, Kim Hi-Yong addressed his colleagues and guests.
"On behalf of all the honorary consuls, I would like to thank Foreign Minister Kristian Vigenin and Bulgaria's Foreign Ministry for organizing this conference and inviting all of us. It is a pleasure to serve your beautiful country as an Honorary Consul in Seoul. The fact that I have been doing this for so long, speaks for itself", Kim Hi-Yong said.
"Over the course of this conference, we will participate in various professional discussions. We will be updated on the most important current issues of relevance to Bulgaria, and on what we can do further to support Bulgaria's interests abroad. I hope it will also be a chance for us to communicate among ourselves and exchange ideas on how we can cooperate for the future", Mr. Hi-Yong added.
Among the guests was also Bulgarian football legend and bronze medalist from the 1994 World Cup, Hristo Stoichkov, who is the Honorary Consul to Barcelona.
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