At a ceremony on February 28, Bulgarian President bestowed on outgoing United States ambassador Herro Mustafa the state honour of the Madara Horseman first class.
Mustafa is to be succeeded as US ambassador by Kenneth Merten.
The Presidency’s press office quoted Radev as saying from the first day of her appointment in Sofia, Mustafa had worked diligently and energetically to develop the political dialogue and expand cooperation between Bulgaria and the US in all areas of mutual interest.
Radev said that the state honour for Mustafa was an expression of the high appreciation for her dedicated work and the indisputable personal contribution to the development of the strategic partnership between the US and Bulgaria.
He said that the strategic dialogue between Bulgaria and the US had created opportunities for the additional structuring of joint efforts in a number of important areas, as concrete results and key agreements had been achieved in the field of security and defence, mobile communications, scientific and technological cooperation and energy.
“The focus of our joint activity was the strengthening of the rule of law, the fight against corruption, terrorism and organised crime,” Radev said.
He said that Bulgaria would continue to rely on its partnership with the US for the modernisation of Bulgaria’s armed forces and the strengthening of the defence capabilities of the Bulgarian military as a sustainable guarantor of Bulgaria’s national sovereignty.
The growth in bilateral trade, which was $1.3 billion, as well as the partnership in the field of energy and the support provided to Bulgaria by the US in the face of the threat of interruption of gas supplies, were also highlighted by Radev, the statement said.
“In this global context, full of extraordinary challenges, ambassador Mustafa and her team were always ready to provide assistance and help, to work with the Bulgarian institutions to find sustainable and mutually beneficial solutions, contributing to more security, stability and prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as for a better, fairer and greener future,” Radev said.
He said that with her active participation in numerous events and initiatives – meetings with schoolchildren, students, representatives of civil society, with the cultural, scientific and business circles, Mustafa had inspired a new impulse in every aspect of bilateral cooperation.
“Thanks to her relaxed and direct approach, sincere interest and respect for Bulgarian traditions and culture, her appeals for justice, dignity, solidarity, mutual aid reached a wide circle of Bulgarian society,” he said.
The statement quoted Mustafa as expressing her gratitude for the state honour, which she saw as a testimony to the successful cooperation over the past three and a half years and a symbol of the deep and lasting union between the US and Bulgaria as friends, partners and allies.
Mustafa highlighted the deepening of cooperation in the field of defence, energy, economy. She also noted the efforts in the field of transport, education and culture to strengthen the ties between the two peoples.
Mustafa said that while she was leaving Bulgaria, she would always remain an ambassador of Bulgarian culture.
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