Bulgarian President, government release joint position on Syria

Bulgarian President Rossen Plevneliev and Plamen Oresharski, prime minister in the Bulgarian Socialist Party government, released a joint position on the Syria crisis on September 18 2013, a significant development following mixed signals and apparent differences among the country’s institutions on the Syria issue.

Some days ago, Plevneliev made a public call for a joint position on Syria, which became reality with the statement, posted simultaneously on the websites of the President and the government.

The statement also represents a rare moment of consensus between the institutions of the President and the government. The latter, since taking office in May, has been moving to marginalize the office of the head of state, while Plevneliev is widely seen as endorsing the anti-government protests that have continued for more than three months to demand the resignation of the BSP government.

“Bulgaria strongly condemns the attack with chemical weapons in the suburbs of Damascus launched on August 21. This attack is a violation of international law and a crime against humankind,” the statement said.

“A categorical response of the international community will confirm the inadmissibility of such actions and will facilitate preventing a possible future usage of chemical weapons as well as their distribution,” it said.

The statement said that Bulgaria was closely following the actions taken within the United Nations, including the presentation of the report by chemical weapons inspectors on the attack launched on August 21.

An unambiguous interpretation of this report would assist the international community in taking efficient actions and further measures, the joint statement said.

“We join the efforts directed at drawing the international community’s attention to the issue of the non-usage of chemical weapons as well as the declared determination to prevent the usage of such weapons in the future. We consider these efforts as indicating the presence of a will to resume the peace process.”

Bulgaria viewed positively the act of bringing the chemical weapons in Syria under international control, the statement said.

“The initiative should secure transparency and control on the part of the international community and provide the necessary guarantees for non-usage of chemical weapons in this country in the future. It should achieve a tangible result and not be used by the parties in the conflict to gain time.”

Bulgaria highly appreciated the agreements reached in Geneva between United States secretary of state Kerry and Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov on the quantities of chemical weapons possessed by the Syrian government and the periods for their destruction. “These agreements should be promptly implemented, and the approved general framework for resolving the problem should be made more concrete and supported by the UN, should commit the countries involved in the conflict and provide for imposing sanctions in case it is not performed.

“As a party to the convention for banning the use of chemical weapons, Bulgaria is ready to make its contribution to their practical implementation.”

Confirming the common position of the EU member states, declared by the EU on September 2013 7 in Vilnius, Bulgaria also joins the G-11 joint declaration from St. Petersburg, the statement said.

“A political decision may put an end to the crisis in Syria. The UN can and should assume a leading role and fulfill the responsibility to find a political solution to the crisis. The diplomatic efforts should be directed at realizing the initiative for organising a second peace conference in Geneva.

“A peaceful solution of the conflict will prevent new victims and will provide the opportunity for the refugees to return to their hometowns,” the statement said.

(Photo, of Oresharski, left, and Plevneliev: president.bg)



The Sofia Globe staff

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