Bulgaria to Appoint 24 New Ambassadors Abroad
Bulgaria will appoint a total of 24 new Ambassadors in its major diplomatic reshuffle that aims to replace many envoys exposed as former Communist State Security agents.
Bulgaria's new President Rosen Plevneliev and Prime Minister Boyko Borisov agreed upon a list of 24 new Ambassadors during their meeting early on Wednesday, dnevnik.bg reports.
Plevneliev and Borisov refused to reveal any names.
"We will discuss them at the Council of Ministers sitting today, we may not accept them," Borisov pointed out. However, Borisov revealed that Bulgaria's outgoing National Intelligence Service head Gen. Kircho Kirov will not be among the new Ambassadors, since he was a State Security agent.
According to dnevnik.bg, Bulgaria's Deputy Foreign Ministry Konstantin Dimitrov will be appointed as country's new Ambassador in London. Another Deputy Foreign Minister, Dimitar Tsanchev, is expected to be appointed as Permanent Representative to EU.
Angel Cholakov, Foreign Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, is expected to be appointed as Ambassador to Italy. He would replace ex-Communist agent Atanas Mladenov.
Five Bulgarian interim Ambassadors are to be named as permanent envoys abroad, the report says, citing Vienna, Pretoria, Damascus, Bratislava and Islamabad.
Biserka Benisheva, a career diplomat, is expected to be appointed as Bulgarian Ambassador in Prague. Appointments are also expected in Kyiv, Stockholm and Skopje.
Ivan Piperkov, head of the Department for Political Affairs, Directorate for UN and Global. Affairs in Bulgaria's Interior Ministry, is likely to be appointed as Ambassador in Geneva.
Interim Ambassador in Cairo, Rumen Petrov, is likely to be appointed as permanent envoy.
Gen. Nikola Kolev, former President Georgi Parvanov's cabinet chief, may become Bulgaria's Ambassador to the Netherlands, while Foreign Ministry employee Emiliya Kraleva is expected to become Ambassador to Greece.
In the beginning of January, Bulgaria's Supreme Administrative Court revoked the recall orders issued by Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov to Bulgaria's ambassadors to the Netherlands, Serbia and Greece.
In September, Mladenov ordered a group of Ambassadors to return to Sofia on business trips for an indefinite period that could well last until their terms in office expired or their successors were appointed.
The Foreign Minister based his actions on the amended Diplomatic Service Act which allowed him to resort to such measures if the Ambassadors' terms in office were about to expire.
In end-November, however, the Constitutional Court revoked the amendments to the Diplomatic Service Act banning former State Security agents from taking up key diplomatic positions. The Foreign Ministry is currently appealing the Constitutional Court's ruling.
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