Bulgaria’s Cabinet has nominated President Rossen Plevneliev’s foreign policy secretary Tihomir Stoychev to become the new country’s ambassador in Washington DC.
If, as expected, Stoychev is confirmed by Plevneliev as Bulgaria’s new ambassador to the US, he will replace Elena Poptodorova, who held the post from 2002 to 2008 and again from 2010.
Stoychev was appointed deputy head of mission in Washington in 2008 and was chargé d’affaires for some time at the end of 2009 after then-ambassador Luchezar Petkov was recalled.
Born in August 1962, Stoychev has a master’s degree in philosophy and history from Sofia University and completed a number of courses at foreign institutions, in France, Greece, Ireland and at the UN in New York.
A career diplomat, he worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ European Integration directorate from 1993 to 1996, the Bulgarian mission to the EU in Brussels from 1996 to 2000 and from 2003 to 2007 was political and economic affairs counsellor at the Bulgaria embassy in Washington. From 2007 to 2008, Stoychev headed the Foreign Ministry’s department of foreign economic relations of the EU.
Stoychev was appointed Plevneliev’s foreign policy secretary on February 1 2012, soon after Plevneliev took office as head of state. Stoychev is fluent in English and Russian and has a working knowledge of French.
An explanatory memorandum drafted by the Foreign Ministry for the Cabinet proposal to the President on Stoychev’s appointment said that the US was a world leader in political, economic and military terms and its role was crucial in global processes.
This made the deepening and maintenance of fruitful and mutually beneficial US-Bulgarian relations essential, the memorandum said.
“Our country appreciates the heights of co-operation with the United States not only in military-political terms – as allies within Nato, but also the commitment of the American side in the current challenges in the region – from energy to the field of security.”
The memorandum said that the priority issue in bilateral relations was the abolition of the US visa system for Bulgarian citizens.