Bulgarian Deputy PM Attends Forum on Countering Foreign Fighters

Defense | February 19, 2015, Thursday // 11:48|  views

Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister Meglena Kuneva. Photo: BGNES

Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister Meglena Kuneva participated at the ministerial meeting on countering foreign terrorist fighters, which was held in Washington on Wednesday.

The discussion is part of the three-day White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE), the government's press service reports.

Kuneva reaffirmed Bulgaria's commitment to UN Security Council Resolution 2178, which calls for increased exchange of operational information regarding actions or movements of terrorists.

In her statement, she justified the need to strengthen the control of the external borders of the EU with the aim of preventing the transit of fighters to and from the conflict zones in the Middle East.

Kuneva highlighted that the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the Schengen Area and the full-scale use of the information systems of all 28 member states will contribute to common EU security.

The Deputy Prime Minister stated that the EU needs a single security system with common standards and preventive measures rather than 28 different systems.

She underscored the necessity of regional collaboration in tackling extremism and pointed to the successful cooperation between Bulgaria and Turkey.

Kuneva commented that Bulgaria has to adopt the amendments to the Penal Code, which provide stricter penalties for persons related to terrorist organisations.

The meeting was of extreme importance to Bulgaria, as it is an outpost, so the sharing of experience is essential for ensuring that the country meets the challenges adequately.

US State Secretary John Kerry hosted the meeting, which gathered deputy prime ministers, interior and foreign ministers from over 30 countries and international organisations.

The forum continues on Thursday in an extended format, which will address topics such as combating the spread of radicalisation outside the conflict zones, fight against extremist propaganda on the internet and the adoption of adequate financial and social measures against marginalisation.

US President Barack Obama is expected to deliver a statement during the forum, which will be also attended by representatives of the NGO sector and religious communities.

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Tags: Bulgaria, Meglena Kuneva, Washington, foreign fighters, extremism, White House, Washington, UN, terrorists, EU, external borders, Schengen Area, accession, Romania, security, Middle East, cooperation, penal code, John Kerry, Barack Obama


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