The President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria, Rossen Jeliazkov, was received today at the Magistral Palace by the Grand Master, Fra’ John Dunlap. A picket of honour welcomed the Bulgarian authority who was greeted by the Grand Chancellor of the Order of Malta, Riccardo di Paternò di Montecupo and the Order of Malta’s Ambassador to Bulgaria Ursula Höfter Zuccoli.
The President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria stressed the important role the Order of Malta plays in the country, with its decades long widespread humanitarian interventions managed by the Order’s embassy and expressed his appreciation. Both parties acknowledged the special friendship bonds and reiterated their commitment to continue supporting the needy populations.
The help programmes for Ukrainian refugees were discussed. Between February 2022 and February 2023 around 1.1 million Ukrainian refugees crossed the border into Bulgaria, with some staying, and others passing through. Bulgaria has registered more than 151,000 refugees from Ukraine for Temporary Protection and some 50,000 have remained in the country.
The parties stressed the need to continue working towards a diplomatic and political peace solution.
During the meeting today the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Bulgaria and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta – which will be celebrated in 2024 – was recalled.
The meeting was also attended by the Vice – presidents of the Bulgarian National Assembly, Tsoncho Ganev and Filiz Hyusmenova, by Metropolitan Antonii, Metropolitan of Western and Central Europe of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, by Bishop Rumen Stanev, Bishop of Sofia-Plovdiv of the Catholic Church in Bulgaria and by Bogdan Patashev, Ambassador to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.