NATO Crisis Management Center Opens in Bulgaria
President Rosen Plevneliev and a number of ministers from the interim government have attended the opening ceremony of a crisis management centre of the Alliance in Bulgaria's capital Sofia.
Plevneliev, who opened the new facility in person, said the new Crisis Management and Disaster Response Centre of Excellence (CMDR COE) is important to Bulgaria in the light of the conflicts in Ukraine and the MENA region.
"These crises destabilize the foundations of democracy. The center will work as part of the Competence Centers within the Alliance," the Bulgarian National Radio quoted the head of state as saying.
Plevneliev asserted Bulgaria was "a leading nation" in the CMDR's construction.
"We will always be weak when we are isolated and strong when integrated in the dignified family of democratic states," he added.
The center will explore NATO's capabilities and provide expert analyses to local and central government institutions. Its fields of expertise include capacity building, boosting interoperability and promoting training of commanders and leaders from NATO member states and partners.
Greece and Poland have also contributed to the project, which was reportedly on the brink of failing, since Brussels sources suggested it could be denied accreditation.
The event was also attended by Defense Minister Velizar Shalamanov, Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov, Environment Minister Svetlana Zhekova and Chief of Defense Vice-Admiral Rumen Nikolov.
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