PM Netanyahu hand President of Bulgaria, Rumen Radev (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90) (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Netanyahu President of Bulgaria, Rumen Radev

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Bulgarian President Rumen Radev said that Israel’s blueprint for success “could be beneficial to many other countries.”

By: United with Israel Staff

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev praised Israel as “an example of a model state,” and said that Israel and Bulgaria, which currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), “now enjoy better relations than ever.”

Radev spoke on Thursday at a breakfast meeting organized by the Israel Council on Foreign Relations and attended by an audience including members of Knesset, foreign diplomats, and academics, the last event of Radev’s official visit to Israel.

During his address, he stressed that “in Bulgaria, there is no negative image of Israel. Bulgarians have warm feelings toward Israelis.”

“I think Israel is an example of a model state,” Rudev added. “We see this in the hi-tech sector and the military. This model of keeping the citizens engaged, giving them the feeling that everyone has a part of the country’s future, this is the strength of your model and I think it could be beneficial to many other countries.”

Asked about moving Bulgaria’s embassy to Jerusalem, the president said that “recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is a very important issue,” but emphasized that “Jerusalem is only one element of the peace process. We are committed to facilitating an open, ongoing dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians,” he said.

Radev also referred in his address to the heroic refusal of Bulgarian society to allow the Germans to deport Bulgarian Jewry in 1943, the 75th anniversary of which was marked earlier this month by the Bulgarian government, Jewish community, and the World Jewish Congress.

“Bulgarians opened their hearts and homes to the Jewish community,” Radev underscored, expressing regret that the Jews of Thrace and Macedonia, which were under Bulgarian occupation during the war, were deported to their deaths in Treblinka.

Radev also noted that he was glad to have had the opportunity during his visit to meet with Israelis of Bulgarian origin living in Israel and was impressed with the depth of their feelings toward Bulgaria.

(With files from the WJC)

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