Bulgaria’s Ekaterina Zaharieva meets other female Foreign Ministers

Written by on September 23, 2017 in World - Comments Off on Bulgaria’s Ekaterina Zaharieva meets other female Foreign Ministers

During her stay in New York City, during the 72nd General Assembly at the United Nations, Bulgaria’s Deputy Prime Minister for Justice Reform and Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva took part in a meeting of female Foreign Ministers.

Apart from her, the Foreign Ministers of Andorra, Australia, Botswana, Ghana, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Canada, Kenya, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Namibia, Palau, the Republic of Korea, Surinam, Croatia, Sweden and Jamaica joined the event. Also, high-level U.N. diplomats, female ones, were part of the meeting.

The two hosts, Liechtenstein’s Foreign Minister Aurelia Frick, and her colleague from Sweden, Margot Wallström, welcomed the ladies and called for gender equality in diplomacy. A day earlier, the organisation ‘U.N. Women’ had awarded Wallström with The Agent of Change Award for her commitment to gender equality.

Internationally, the Swedish politician is also known for problems she caused with her stance on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

During the meeting, Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop shared concerns about the ever-decreasing number of female politicians in Pacific states. As an example, she mentioned Papua New Guinea, where all of the 111 MPs are men.

This is the third informal meeting of women foreign ministers. More are expected.

Earlier on Friday, Minister Zaharieva met with her counterparts from Kazakhstan, Libya and Tunisia. “Bulgarian companies can use Kazakhstan as a starting point for entering Central Asia, a region that represents a market of 500 million people,” Kazakh Foreign Minister Kazakh Abrahmanov told Zaharieva.

The Bulgarian diplomat told her Tunisian colleague Khmajes Jhinjai, Bulgarian tourists liked Tunisia very much, as a holiday destination. She said the stabilization of the country would restore the visits from Bulgaria.

During her conversation with the Lybian Foreign Minister Mohammed Taha Ciela, Ekaterina Zaharieva said, many Bulgarians had worked in Lybia. “It is time to renew our ties and economic contacts.”

In the Lybia of Muammar Gaddafi, five Bulgarian nurses, who had worked there, were falsely accused to having infected 400 children with HIV deliberately, in 1998. They were initially sentenced to death. In 2007, they were extradited and sent back to Bulgaria. The drama had triggered a long lasting crisis between Bulgaria and Lybia, as well as diplomatic efforts by several countries.

Photo by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sofia

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Imanuel Marcus is Associate Editor of The Sofia Globe. He is German and lives in Sofia. Contact: imanuelmarcus (at) gmail.com