Sovereign Military Hospitaller
Order of St John of Jerusalem of
Rhodes and of Malta


Twenty Years of Diplomatic Relations: the Grand Master Receives the Vice President of Bulgaria

Twenty Years of Diplomatic Relations: the Grand Master Receives the Vice President of Bulgaria

On the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of diplomatic relations between Bulgaria and the Sovereign Order of Malta – established on 11 November 1994 – Grand Master Fra’ Matthew Festing received the Vice President of Bulgaria Margarita Popova today in the Magistral Palace.

I was very impressed by the work the Order of Malta is carrying out in full respect of the Christian faith and human rights,” said the Vice President of Bulgaria. “The initiatives of the Order of Malta’s embassy in Sofia, and in numerous cities in our country, have been fundamental in giving aid to the poor, to the sick and to children,” she added.

The Grand Master and Vice President repeated their great satisfaction at the excellent bilateral relations demonstrated by the over 300 humanitarian projects developed in 100 localities in Bulgaria. These include the hot meals for the homeless in Sofia as well as the initiatives last summer to help those affected by the floods, during which groups of volunteers were sent to the most badly-hit areas and medicines and food were distributed.

The serious humanitarian situations caused by the exodus of Iranian and Iraqi refugees and how Bulgaria is managing the ever increasing flows of displaced persons was discussed during the meeting. Vice President Margarita Popova stressed the Sovereign Order of Malta’s commitment in launching initiatives for providing healthcare to refugees fleeing from the wars, currently housed in the Sofia and Kovachevitsa camps.

Within the framework of the twentieth anniversary celebrations, on 17 October last Vice President Popova inaugurated, in the city of Nikopol, the monuments dedicated to the members of the Order of Malta’s members who fell during the battle fought in the Bulgarian city in 1396.

During this morning’s meeting, the Vice President of Bulgaria signed the stamp issued by the Bulgarian Post Office today to celebrate the anniversary of diplomatic relations and expressed the wish to give a new impulse to the development of further humanitarian projects.