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Rumen Radev: Bulgarian Institutions Must Work for Consolidated National Policy in Support of Our Compatriots Abroad

2024-06-03 14:51:00
 
The head of state awarded Ivan Nikolov, a prominent figure of the Bulgarian national minority in the Republic of Serbia, with the Stara Planina Order, First Class
 
With Vice President Iliana Iotova, we will continue to be personally committed to the Bulgarian institutions working actively for a consolidated, clear national Bulgarian position and policy in support of all our compatriots abroad. This was stated by President Rumen Radev at a ceremony in the Coat of Arms Hall at the presidential compound on awarding the Stara Planina Order, First Class, to the outstanding figure of the Bulgarian national minority in the Republic of Serbia and chair of the Bosilegrad Cultural and Information Centre of the Bulgarian National Minority, Ivan Nikolov. The highest state award goes to him for his outstanding merits for the consistent and unwavering defence of the rights, national identity and dignity of the Bulgarians in the Republic of Serbia. The ceremony was attended by Vice President Iliana Iotova, as well as representatives of state institutions, members of the public and members of the civic initiative committee headed by Prof Lozan Mitev, who nominated Ivan Nikolov for the award.
 
The head of state singled out the tireless work and high moral assets of Ivan Nikolov, which made him the most authoritative representative and moral leader of the Bulgarian national minority in the Republic of Serbia. Rumen Radev also emphasised the essential role of the prominent public figure, researcher and human rights defender for preserving the Bulgarian national identity, language, culture and historical memory of our compatriots in neighbouring Serbia and for strengthening their national self-awareness and dignity. Ivan Nikolov has made a significant contribution to the revival and formation of the Bulgarian state's empathy with the fate of the Bulgarians in the Republic of Serbia, as well as to the commitment of both the Serbian state and the European Union to overcome the challenges faced by our compatriots there, the president pointed out.
 
By defending the rights and freedoms of our compatriots in the Republic of Serbia and opposing any attempts to encroach on the historical truth, Ivan Nikolov established himself as a real moral pillar, the head of state added. In his words, the significance of Ivan Nikolov's patriotic work is even more visible against the background of the objective difficulties and unfavourable conditions in the regions with a compact Bulgarian population. Among them are the lack of sustainable sources of livelihood and development, which provokes alarming processes of depopulation in these areas.
 
The president indicated that he would continue to work actively with the Serbian state leadership to solve the problems of the Bulgarians in Serbia. He recalled that during his visits there, together with his Serbian colleague, President Aleksandar Vucic, he held meetings with our compatriots in Tsaribrod, where the problems, prospects, as well as measures for economic development and the opportunities for the Bulgarians in the country to be openly and frankly discussed freely express their national and cultural identity. The head of state voiced regret that the processes are not developing at the desired speed, but singled out as an important factor in this direction the relations at the highest political level for the solution of the problems and the development of the Bulgarian national minority in Serbia.
 
Bulgaria is the main engine of the European integration of the countries of the Western Balkans, and the main criterion by which we will give support is the situation of our compatriots in each country - the conditions for their economic and social development, and above all the opportunity for them to defend their national identity, language, culture, historical memory, Radev said and repeated the Bulgarian position that the European integration of each country should be based on the principle of own merits, so that the process is sustainable and irreversible.
 
Ivan Nikolov expressed his gratitude for the honour and confidence of being awarded the highest state award. With this, you evaluate and confirm our goals and actions as national and human and place us on the right side of Bulgaria's history, Nikolov pointed out and called for a definite and consistent Bulgarian position in support of our compatriots in Serbia.
 

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