News from Bulgaria / Sept 28, 95

From: (Embassy of Bulgaria)

Bulgarian Telegraph Agency Directory




SEPTEMBER 28, 1995







    United Nations, September 27 - Bulgarian Prime Minister Zhan Videnov today addressed the 50th session of the UN General Assembly to express the views of the Bulgarian government on the new role of the UN and Bulgaria's activity within it.

    The broad discussion on problems pertaining to world peace and security, the extensive use of early warning, preventive diplomacy, etc., is symptomatic of the existence of shared interest in improving the UN efficiency in this respect, said the Prime Minister. He believes more attention should be paid to the strategy for a post-conflict stabilization of peace as an element of the general strategy for international and regional security. The UN could also play an invaluable role by combining the political settlement of conflicts with long-term measures for economic and social restoration and development, said the Bulgarian Head of Government. Another issue he brought to the fore was the need for solving the problems facing third countries as a result of the implementation of the UN Security Council sanctions. According to Zhan Videnov, a complex mechanism for implementing the sanctions should be found to offer a way of overcoming the adverse effects suffered by countries that are not object of the sanctions but are hit by them. He added that no satisfactory progress has to date been made in the discussions on that matter. The failure to solve the existing problems jeopardizes the effectiveness and political justification of the sanctions, said Videnov. "We cannot have a well-considered and wisely applied international instrument creating security in one country or region and at the same time instability and insecurity near it," The speaker said. He backed the view expressed in the report of the UN Secretary General that the all member states should shoulder an equal share of the burden of the sanctions implementation.

    Having experienced the adverse side effects of the sanctions against Iraq, Libya and particularly the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Bulgaria is a good example of how the inadequate response of the UN and the international community to the complex problems in this sphere generates serious difficulties and economic, political and social complications, Zhan Videnov said. He called upon the member states to back the initiative for providing assistance to countries with specific economic problems brought forth by the strict observation of the sanctions. A step in that direction would be support for a new draft resolution to be introduced at the current UN session by the Bulgarian delegation. Zhan Videnov further said what has been stated on a number of occasions already, that Bulgaria is pursuing a firm policy for stabilization of the region, based on the principles of absence of territorial claims, territorial integrity, respect for all countries' sovereignty and noninvolvement in their domestic affairs. Strengthening regional stability, security and cooperation should not be shelved for the post-conflict period but rather get urgently in the focus of attention, according to the speaker. He believes there is a need to develop a general viable strategy to that end and a schedule for its practical implementation. As a first step in that direction Zhan Videnov offered to be used the forum on the role of trans- European infrastructure networks for stability and cooperation, due in mid-November in Sofia. The next step, according to him, could be a Central-Southeastern European meeting of six EU member states and associate members (Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Greece, Romania and Bulgaria) together with the chairmanship of the EU. Harmonizing and coordinating their efforts could tangibly contribute for a lasting and irreversible stability in Central and Southeastern Europe and eliminate the risk for this region to be a source of potentially catastrophic conflicts, Videnov went on to say.

    The Bulgarian Prime Minister further stressed the need to expand cooperation on regional and bilateral level, adding that a manifestation of this trend is the Environment for Europe conference due on October 23 through 25 in Sofia and the seminar on the trans-European infrastructure networks to be held in November under the aegis of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. He believes that these initiatives could have a positive effect on regional stability. In their unprecedented transition to democracy and market economy, the countries of Central and Eastern Europe have ever growing expectations for assistance on the part of the UN and its specialized agencies, Videnov said in conclusion.


    United Nations, September 27 - Bulgaria strictly implements UN measures for the peaceful settlement of conflicts, including UN sanctions against some countries. The enforcement of sanctions has inflicted enormous losses on Bulgaria, which now exceed 25% of its projected GDP for 1995. In this way Bulgaria is by far the hardest affected among the nations indirectly hit by the sanctions.

    These are highlights of Prime Minister Zhan Videnov's address to the 50th Session of the UN General Assembly. ("Daily News" runs a separate resume of the address.)

    The Bulgarian Prime Minister arrived to the UN headquarters in New York late last night. He was welcomed at JFK Airport by senior officials of the protocol of the UN and the US State Department and Bulgarian diplomats.

    Before taking the floor, Videnov, who was the first to address today's plenary meeting, conferred with UN Secretary- General Boutros Boutros Ghali. He also held talks with the President of the 50th Session of the General Assembly Prof. Freitas du Amaral of Portugal.

    Zhan Videnov described Bulgaria's efforts to fulfill its tasks as a UN member. Bulgarian experience shows that if the UN wants to successfully fulfill its obligations in the future, it should carefully review its major peacemaking tools, economic sanctions and peace- keeping missions.

    The Bulgarian Prime Minister welcomed the UN mediation for an agreement between Greece and Macedonia, which he described as an essential step for the alleviation of tension in Southeastern Europe. Another major UN contribution would be support for successful completion of peace efforts in Bosnia.

    Zhan Videnov told the General Assembly the Yugoslav crisis highlights another vital UN mission, the consolidation of peace after the end of a conflict. This mission includes the reduction of arms and armed forces and economic reconstruction and development of affected areas.

    Bulgaria is well positioned to participate in reconstruction plans. This country expects to receive part of the international aid after the end of the conflict in the Balkans, Videnov also said.

    Later tonight Prime Minister Videnov met with his Moroccan counterpart Abdellatif Filali, Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu and the President of the Business Council for International Understanding Charles Powlevski.


    Bulgarian Foreign Minister Georgi Pirinski held a number of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the UN session in New York.

    On Monday Pirinski met with the foreign ministers of Sweden, Denmark and Luxembourg. At all three meetings Pirinski set forth Bulgaria's stand that the decision of the ministers of justice and internal affairs of the EU countries for including Bulgaria in the EU visa blacklist is unjustified and totally unacceptable, placing Bulgaria in a discriminatory position to the other associated countries of Central and Eastern Europe and impeding the free movement of Bulgarian citizens, the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry spokesman told journalists today. Pirinski told his three counterparts that Bulgaria will continue to actively insist on a revision of this decision.

    The meetings with the foreign ministers of Sweden, Denmark and Luxembourg also discussed a number of topical international issues, focusing on the latest developments in the former Yugoslavia. Pirinski set forth Bulgaria's views on the stabilization of Southeastern Europe, on the postwar reconstruction of the region, the development of its infrastructure and arms reductions in this part of Europe. The meetings also discussed the need to economically assist countries sustaining losses as a result of the Yugo-embargo. Pirinski also asked for support for a draft resolution the Bulgarian delegation plans to move at the current session of the UN General Assembly. All three foreign ministers showed understanding for Bulgaria's ideas and proposals, the spokesman of the Bulgarian foreign ministry said.

    Pirinski discussed with Swedish Foreign Minister Ms Lena Hjelm-Wallen issues related too enhancing the efficiency and the reform in the UN. The Swedish side thanked Bulgaria for its support for Sweden's candidature for non-permanent membership in the Security Council in 1996-97. The two sides also discussed bilateral issues.

    The meeting with Danish Foreign Minister Niels Helveg Petersen confirmed the invitation to the Danish Foreign Minister to visit Bulgaria by the end of the first three months of 1996.

    At his meeting with the Foreign Minister of Luxembourg, Mr. Jacques Poos, Pirinski set forth the policy pursued by the Bulgarian Government for integrating this country into European structures. The meeting also discussed the losses sustained by Bulgaria as a result of the Yugoembargo and Bulgaria's participation in the postwar reconstruction of the region.

    On Monday Foreign Minister Pirinski met Emilio Cardenas, Chairman of the UN Sanctions Committee on the FR of Yugoslavia, who informed him of the proposed measures for optimizing the procedures and methods of work of the Committee. Cardenas stressed that the UN sanctions are an integral part of the means for a peaceful settlement of the conflict and that everything possible should be done for alleviating its consequences for the civilian population of the countries, subject to the sanctions and for the neighboring states as is the case with Bulgaria. Foreign Minister Pirinski dwelled on Bulgaria's readiness to actively contribute to the postwar economic reconstruction of the Balkans, the concrete parameters of which should be developed simultaneously with the emerging progress in the peace process. Pirinski also said that Bulgaria would insist on equal treatment in the consideration of applications for humanitarian deliveries from international humanitarian organizations.

    Foreign Minister Pirinski also met Hungarian Foreign Minister Laszlo Kovacs. The two sides discussed bilateral relations and the prospects for establishing cooperation between Bulgaria and the countries of the Central European Initiative. Pirinski and Kovacs exchanged opinions on the situation in the former Yugoslavia, expressing support for the peace process. The two sides agreed that an overall settlement of the conflict would be impossible without the participation of all affected and neighboring states in the projects for the post-conflict stabilization and economic reconstruction of the region. Bulgaria and Hungary agreed to cooperate in the implementation of infrastructure projects in the field of transport communications linking the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

    Foreign Minister Pirinski met Turkish Foreign Minister Erdal Inonu with whom he reviewed bilateral relations. The two sides expressed satisfaction with the progress of contacts and consultations at official and working level between the two countries. They discussed issues related to ceasing hostilities and the prospects for a peaceful solution of the Yugoconflict. The two sides expressed interest in participation in the post-conflict reconstruction of the region, including through joint activities of companies of the two countries.

    Foreign Minister Pirinski met Macedonian Foreign Minister Stevo Crvenkovski who acquainted him with the agreements reached on normalizing the relations between Macedonia and Greece. These were assessed by Bulgaria as an important factor in promoting good-neighborliness and cooperation in the Balkans as a whole. The Bulgarian Foreign Minister expressed full support for Macedonia's efforts for integration into European structures and institutions. The two ministers expressed a wish to further promote bilateral relations and agreed to step up political contacts between the two countries.

    The Bulgarian Foreign Minister had meetings with Lithuanian Foreign Minister Povilas Gylys with whom they exchanged opinions on the visa regulations the two countries have with the West European countries. The two sides discussed Issues related to European transport infrastructures. Foreign Minister Pirinski invited his Lithuanian counterpart to visit Bulgaria.

    Foreign Minister Pirinski also conferred with the Foreign Minister of Belarus, Vladimir Senko, who expressed a wish for activating Bulgarian-Belarus economic relations, including through the setting up of a qualitatively new legal framework.


    Sofia, September 27 - The decision of the European Union to include Bulgaria in its negative list stirred up heated reaction in this country.

    "The decision of the EU Council of Ministers to include Bulgaria in its negative list is unjust," Justice Minister Mladen Cherveniakov said today upon his return from Brussels. He also said the decision does not comply with this country's EU associate member status.

    "Allegations that Bulgaria is a high-risk country, a station in the traffic of illegal immigrants, are unjustified because for the first time we are not among the first ten countries in this respect," the Justice Minister also said. He went on to say Bulgaria responded to the decision with a categorical protest. According to him, a statement on this matter by the Spanish chairman implied what has been repeatedly voiced at a higher level, that all preconditions exist for striking Bulgaria off the negative list. A hope was reportedly voiced that in January when decisions on this matter will be taken by majority and not by consensus, as is now the practice, a more favorable decision will be taken.

    Meeting the Foreign Ministers of Sweden, Denmark and Luxembourg in New York on Monday, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Georgi Pirinski expressed Bulgaria's stand that the decision is unjustified and totally unacceptable; it places Bulgaria in a discriminatory position to the other associate members of Central and Eastern Europe and impedes the free movement of Bulgarian citizens, the Foreign Ministry spokesman told journalists today. Bulgaria will continue to persistently insist that the decision be revised, Pirinski reportedly said.

    The parliamentary Foreign Policy Committee yesterday too voiced its protest against the EU Council of Ministers' decision. A resolution to that effect was handed to Jorge Fuentes, the Sofia- based Ambassador of Spain that is currently holding the EU presidency. "Unfortunately, such decisions only consolidate the ranks of Euroskeptics in Bulgaria," said committee deputy chair Assen Agov.

    The press today runs numerous stories expressing a deep disappointment at the negative list decision.

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