Shimon Peres Visits Bulgaria

Israeli President Shimon Peres visited Sofia this week, and while we did not get a chance to see him, we can note some of the Bulgarian-Israeli friendship marked in this visit.

Bulgarian President Parvanov awarded Peres with Bulgaria's highest state distinction, the Stara Planina Order, First Degree. In his speech upon accepting the order, Peres extended his warm gratitude to Bulgaria for refusing to deport its Jews to the death camps during the Second World War, singling out Bulgaria as a "country that is exceptional among all countries."

According to the media, Peres said that the Bulgarian people should in turn receive an order - "for its humanity, its bravery, its standing up against the Nazi regime."

Peres was on an official visit to Bulgaria and met with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, Cabinet members, and the Bulgarian Jewish community. Peres praised Bulgaria's role and potential in contributing to the peace process in the Middle East, saying that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' recent visit to Sofia in mid-July is "no coincidence" with his own Bulgarian visit.

"There will be peace between Israel and the Palestinian people," Peres promised in his speech in the Sofia Synagogue.


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