Tearful US Ambassador Bids Farewell to Bulgaria

Diplomacy | September 14, 2012, Friday // 13:42|  views

US Ambassador, James Warlick, cried when saying goodbye to his interpreter Hristina who was always besides him during his numerous media appearances. Photo by BGNES

US Ambassador, James Warlick, left Bulgaria in tears, giving a special press conference at Sofia International Airport.

During the conference he introduced his entire Embassy team, thanking them and personally saying goodbye to everyone. He broke into tears, hugging for a long time his interpreter Hristina, who was always besides him during his numerous media appearances in his nearly three years stay in the country.

He stated he had a lot to say, but couldn't because of overcoming emotions.

The diplomat stressed this last event was the most difficult one he had to attend, reiterating yet one more time that he would miss Bulgaria dearly, loves it, and it will always have a special place in his heart.

Speaking of his successor, he said she was an extraordinary professional and a good person, who would continue working for the advancing of the relations between Bulgaria and the US.

Warlick further vowed his interest in Bulgaria would be a lasting one.

The outgoing Ambassador highlighted the respect he has for Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, adding their connection will continue after his term and even after Borisov leaves office.

He refused to comment on the negative opinion about Borisov of his predecessors, Nancy McEldowney and John Beyrle, which was revealed through WikiLeaks-released secret US diplomatic cables they sent to Washington from the Embassy in Sofia.

On May 25th US President Barack Obama officially announced that he has nominated Marcie Ries for Ambassador to Bulgaria, where she will replace James Warlick. The announcement was published on the site of the White House.

Warlick became Ambassador in Sofia in January 2010. Rumors about his recall have been circulating in Bulgaria since the beginning of April 2012, and he has strongly denied them all.

US Ambassadors have a term of 3 years, which can be extended by another 6 months. The White House statement does not list any grounds for the reshuffle.

The diplomat is returning to Washington, D. C. where he will immediately serve as Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, a senior policy position in the office of the Secretary of State.

Ries' arrival date remains unknown.

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Tags: outgoing, US, ambassador, James Warlick, Sofia International Airport, press conference, Bulgaria, Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, Wikileaks, Nancy McEldowney, John Beyrle


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