Bulgarian Cabinet Bows to Holocaust Victims in Israel

Diplomacy | September 11, 2012, Tuesday // 13:48|  views

Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov at the Yad Vashem memorial in Israel. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, and the delegation including 12 members of the Cabinet, bowed to the victims of the Holocaust at the Yad Vashem memorial in Jerusalem.

Yad Vashem is a living memorial to the Holocaust. It was established in 1953, as the world center for documentation, research, education and commemoration of the Holocaust. Over 1 million people visit the memorial every year.

The Head of the Bulgarian Jewish Organization Shalom, Maxim Benevisti, is travelling with the delegation, and is bringing documents about the rescue of 48 000 Bulgarian Jews from concentration camps during WW II to become part of the permanent display of Yad Vashem.

Borisov and 12 ministers are in Israel for the second joint sitting of the two countries' Cabinets.

In addition to Borisov, the delegation comprises Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Economy and Energy Minister Delyan Dobrev, Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov, Defense Minister Anyu Angelov, Agriculture Minister Miroslav Naydenov, Education Minister Sergey Ignatov, Health Minister Desislava Atanasova, Culture Minister Vezhdi Rashidov, Environment Minister Nona Karadzhova, Social Policy Minister Totyu Mladenov, Transport Minister Ivaylo Moskovski and Regional Development Minister Lilyana Pavlova.

The agenda includes security talks and the signing of bilateral agreements in the IT, healthcare, culture and education sectors.

The joint sitting in Jerusalem, scheduled on the 11th anniversary of the September 11 2011 terror attack against the US, is deemed a display of the excellent ties between the two countries despite the July 18 bus bombing that killed five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver in the Bulgarian Black Sea city of Burgas.

On Tuesday, Borisov also has scheduled meetings with Israeli counterpart, Benyamin Netanyahu, and with President, Shimon Peres.

Later during the day, the ministers will follow the ritual of becoming Pilgrims in visiting the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, venerated as Golgotha, where Jesus was crucified, said to contain the place where he was buried, and the Wailing Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem

Monday evening the Jazz formation The Bulchemists of 6 young Bulgarian Jews living in Israel performed for the Bulgarian delegation at a cocktail reception at the Habima Theater in Tel Aviv.

Borisov is staying at the upscale King David hotel in Jerusalem, known as the favorite of State leaders and celebrities visiting the city.

Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev is also expected to arrive on an official visit to Israel at the end of October.

In July 2011, Bulgaria and Israel held the first ever joint sitting of their Cabinets in Bulgaria's capital Sofia.

For Bulgaria, this was the second time ever of holding a joint Cabinet sitting with another country after a 2010 sitting with the then Greek Cabinet; a sitting with the Romanian Cabinet followed in the fall of 2011 and a sitting with Turkey's Cabinet took place in March 2012.

For Israel, the 2011 Bulgarian-Israel Cabinet sessions was the third with a foreign country – after earlier joint sittings with the governments of Germany and Italy.

In 2013, Bulgaria and Israel will jointly commemorate the 70th anniversary since the Balkan country's historic rescue of 50 000 Jews from Nazi concentration camp.

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Tags: Maxim Benevisti, Shimon Peres, Holocaust, Israel, Bulgaria, joint sitting, Boyko Borisov, Cabinet, bus bombing, IT, education, culture, healthcare, Benyamin Netanyahu, Yad Vashem


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