Bulgarian FM on Arab Spring: Post-Totalitarian Societies Need Quick Justice

Diplomacy | December 3, 2011, Saturday // 18:01|  views

Bulgarian Foreign Affairs Minister Nikolay Mladenov speaking Saturday at an edition of the Sofia Platform, addressing pro-democracy movements in the Arab World. BGNES

The key issue in transition processes in both Eastern Europe and the Arab world is justice, stated Bulgarian Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikolay Mladenov.

Saturday Mladenov spoke at a forum of the Sofia Platform, organized by the Bulgarian Foreign Affairs Ministry, entitled "Justice in Transition" and devoted to the events following the Arab Spring.

Representatives of the pro-democracy opposition movement from across North Africa and the Middle East were present at the event.

"What is at stake is justice when clarifying what really happened during totalitarian regimes, justice in punishing those responsible for that, as well as justice in the making of new rules leading to the rule of law in our societies," argued Mladenov.

He recalled that many Bulgarians in the early 1990s had high hopes for swift transition to full democracy, but the reality had them face with hard work in store.

In his speech, the Bulgarian Foreign Affairs Minister reiterated his thesis about the continuity of democratization processes in Eastern Europe in the late 1980s and current pro-democracy upheavals in the Arab World.

"The lesson Arab countries must learn from our experience is not to postpone putting their old regimes to justice," stated Mladenov.

At the opening of the event Saturday, Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov gave a welcoming speech, in which he assured representatives from Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain and Syria that they can count on Bulgaria's support in their democratization efforts.

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Tags: Boyko Borisov, Arab, arab spring, democracy, EU, europe, Yemen, opposition, Syria, Bahrain, Libyan, Egypt, Tunisia, transition, democracy, justice, totalitarian, Eastern Europe, North Africa, Middle East


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