Recalled Bulgarian Ambassadors Make Unauthorized Trips to Places of Assignment

Diplomacy | June 20, 2011, Monday // 12:31|  views

Bulgaria`s Foreign Ministry premises. Photo by BGNES

Three of Bulgaria's Ambassadors, who were recalled after disclosures of their ties to the country's communist-era secret services, have traveled to their places of assignment without informing their employer, Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov.

After the so-called Files Commission, the special panel examining the Communist era documentation, revealed in end-2010 that 35 of Bulgaria's diplomats abroad had been collaborators of the former State Security Service (DS) , the Bulgarian Parliament moved to ban people with proven links to the former DS from becoming ambassadors, consuls general, or occupying any other public office in the diplomatic corpse.

In early May, 13 out of 35 Ambassadors were returned to Bulgaria for an indefinite consultation period, with the remaining ones to be recalled in June. Their positions were to be occupied by temporary replacements.

Georgi Dimitrov, Branimir Radev, and Georgi Peychinov, Bulgarian Ambassadors in Belgrade, Tbilisi and Beijing, respectively, were found to have visited the three capitals without giving prior notice, Bulgaria's Foreign Ministry confirmed in a statement, as quoted by Trud daily.

At present, the recalled diplomats have not been removed from their posts, which can only be done through a presidential decree, but have been dispatched on business trips, which are determined by the Foreign Minister, without there being any legal requirements about their length.

The ambassadors can travel to their places of assignment but they must inform the Foreign Minister in advance, which Dimitrov, Radev and Peychinov have failed to do.

Their absence was established when the newly appointed Permanent Secretary of the Foreign Ministry Radi Naydenov tried to summon them to give them tasks to work on.

Bulgaria's Foreign Ministry is still considering whether and how the three diplomats should be penalized.

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Tags: Foreign Minister, Nikolay Mladenov, Foreign Ministry, diplomat, secret services, State Security, Files Commission, DS


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