Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov praised the high level of co-operation between the security services of Bulgaria and Israel during a two-day visit to Israel, which included an address to participants in the annual international conference hosted by the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya.
Borissov noted the “exceptional synchronisation” between Bulgarian and Israeli intelligence agencies after terrorist bombing at Sarafovo Airport in Bourgas in July 2012, which killed five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver. Borissov’s agenda for the trip includes scheduled meetings with relatives of the Israeli victims of the attack.
In his address on September 4, Borissov spoke of the need for joint efforts to fight terrorism, emphasising the efforts that Bulgaria, as a member state of Nato and external border of the EU, has made to prevent the spread of radical ideas, Bulgarian National Radio reported.
Borissov was also scheduled to discuss security co-operation during his meeting with Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, on September 5.
Talking to reporters before their meeting, Borissov spoke of Bulgaria’s intention to open a general consulate in Jerusalem – having announced in June plans to upgrade the existing honorary consulate – and said that it would facilitate services for Bulgarian and Israeli nationals alike, given the increasing number of travellers between the two countries.
For his part, Netanyahu re-iterated his earlier sentiment that the consulate could be the first step towards opening a Bulgarian embassy in Jerusalem, Bulgarian state news agency BTA reported.
Borissov said, during his previous visit to Israel in June, that Bulgaria did not intend to move its embassy to Jerusalem, in line with the EU position on the issue.
Borissov’s visit is scheduled to end with the unveiling in Tel Aviv of a monument commemorating the rescue of the Bulgarian Jews from deportation to Nazi death camps. Earlier this year, Bulgaria marked the 75th anniversary of the rescue of Bulgarian Jews.