Politics | October 9, 2001, Tuesday // 00:00

More than 120 countries voted in favor of Bulgaria`s joining the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member. On October 8, the UN General Assembly elected Bulgaria as a non-permanent member of the Security Council of the East-European regional group, starting from January 1, 2002 until December 31, 2003. The competitor Belarus received 53 votes. Bulgaria was elected in the first round of voting. `This is not a victory, it is a triumph as we did not expect such support, about which we are very happy,` Bulgarian permanent representative in the UN Stefan Tafrov told journalists.`We would like to extend our thanks to all countries of Europe and to the United States, who voted for Bulgaria,` Tafrov said. Bulgarian President Peter Stoyanov assessed Bulgaria`s election as a non-permanent member in the United Nations` Security Council as an important recognition for Bulgaria`s successful and balanced foreign policy. `In a time that is of critical importance to the world, Bulgaria will be able to participate directly in the decision-making process on the most important issues of the international peace and security. I am sure that this will enable us to contribute to the success of the international fight against terrorism where the UN and the Security Council will undoubtedly have a key role,` Stoyanov said `Being the only Balkan state represented in the UN`s main body, Bulgaria also assumes the major responsibility to work still more actively in the strengthening of peace, stability and cooperation in the region, ` the President said. `As member of the UN Security Council, Bulgaria will contribute to a safer world,` Bulgarian Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg commented. `Over the next two years, Bulgaria will be one of the ten important states in the world along with the five permanent members of the Security Council, authorized to make decisions on matters of global security,` the Prime Minister added. Saxe-Coburg thanked to all who have contributed to this success, including Bulgaria`s friends around the world. Bulgaria was a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 1966-67 and in 1986-87.

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