New US ambassador to Bulgaria presents credentials to President

The new United States ambassador to Bulgaria, Kenneth Merten, presented his credentials to head of state President Roumen Radev at a ceremony on April 7, according to a statement by the presidency.

Merten, formerly US ambassador to Croatia, from 2012 to August 2015, and before that US ambassador to Haiti from 2009 to July 2012, arrived in Bulgaria on April 6.

A career diplomat, he previously served as a Deputy Executive Secretary to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and earlier to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

The US embassy said that during his introductory meeting with Radev, Merten expressed his appreciation for the warm welcome to Bulgaria and his eagerness to continue and grow the close partnership between the two countries.

Merten underscored that the US and Bulgaria are friends, partners, and Allies, and that the US government is committed to working with all Bulgarians to deepen this historic 120 year partnership and build the two countries’ shared security and prosperity, the embassy said.

Merten was one of four foreign ambassadors to present their credentials to Radev on Friday.

Another was the new Ukrainian ambassador Olesya Ilashchuk, who presented a copy of her credentials to Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry on March 28.

A statement by the embassy of Ukraine said that during the meeting with Radev, Ilashchuk expressed her gratitude to the Bulgarian people for the all-round support to Ukraine amid the full-scale military invasion of the Russian Federation, as well as for the support of the tens of thousands of Ukrainians who temporarily found protection in Bulgaria.

The embassy said that Ilashchuk and Radev discussed the continuation of political, economic, energy and defence assistance to Ukraine, cooperation within the framework of the implementation of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s peace formula, the strengthening of the regime of sanctions against Russia, development of the Ukrainian-Bulgarian dialogue, as well as the rights of the numerous Bulgarian community in Ukraine.

Radev repeatedly has stated his opposition to Bulgaria supplying weapons to Ukraine and says he favours a diplomatic solution towards “peace”.

Others to present their credentials on April 7 were Georgian ambassador Otar Berdzenishvili and Cuban ambassador Marieta García Hordan.


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