Bulgaria FM Downplays Reports of Planned UN Ambassador Recall

Politics » DIPLOMACY | June 13, 2016, Monday // 17:45
Bulgaria: Bulgaria FM Downplays Reports of Planned UN Ambassador Recall Stefan Tafrov, Bulgaria's Ambassador to the United Nations. File photo, BGNES

Bulgaria's Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov has dismissed suggestions that the ministry is planning to recall Stefan Tafrov, the incumbent Ambassador of the country to the United Nations.

Mitov has made clear Tafrov's term expires on July 15, and Bulgarian authorities are yet to decide whether to extend it or come up with a successor.

The comments of Bulgaria's top diplomat, made at the opening of a Bulgarian branch of the World League for Freedom and Democracy (WLFD, a UN-affiliated organization dealing with democratic development and human rights), were an apparent reference to rumors about an ongoing struggle over the country's UN Secretary General nomination.

In February, Bulgaria endorsed UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova as its official candidate to take over the office from Ban Ki-moon next year. 

However, mass-circulation daily 24 Chasa reported earlier in May, citing "government sources", that Tafrov was spearheading a campaign in New York against Bokova, favouring Kristalina Georgieva, one of the EU Commission Vice Presidents over his country's official endorsement.

Tafrov denies the claims.

The currently expiring term, which started in January of 2012, is his second one as the Bulgarian permanent envoy to the UN. He assumed the same position between 2001 and 2006.

Bokova's nomination has been questioned by some Bulgarian parties and has left the public divided, with some pointing to her experience within UNESCO and her good reputation and others citing the background of her family during the Soviet era as an argument against her candidacy. The latter group often singles out the uncertainty over whether the UK and the US - two of the five permanent UN Security Council members - might throw their support behind Bokova or use their veto-holding power against her.


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Tags: Stefan Tafrov, Irina Bokova, Kristalina Georgieva, Daniel Mitov, UN Secretary General
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