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Bulgaria hosts Graphic Design Exhibition on 10th year of NATO membership

Ambassador Petar Andonov of the Republic of Bulgaria hosted the Bulgarian Graphic Design Exhibition 2104 on the theme of “Bulgaria: 10 Years in NATO” at the Korea Foundation in Seoul on Dec. 15, 2014 in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the country’s entry into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Many photographs and posters were on display accenting the 10th anniversary of Bulgaria’s membership in the NATO.

▲Ambassador Petar Andonov of Bulgaria speaks to the guests welcoming them to the Exhibition and explaning Bulgaria’s entry and achievements in the NATO.

There were many guests from Korean society as well as from the Diplomatic Corps, who included Ambassadors Ramzi Teymurov of Azerbaijan, Tomasz Kozlowski of Delegation of the European Union, Nikoloz Apkhazava of Georgia and Calin Fabian of Romania.

The Korean guests included Korean Honorary Consul Kim Hi-yong of Bulgaria and Executive Vice-President Keum-jin Yoon of Korea Foundation.

Speaking to the guests, Ambassador Andonov of Bulgaria said: “During the years of membership my country has made significant steps towards establishing itself as a full and active participant in the political dialogue and the allied NATO operations. Nowadays, Bulgaria is contributing actively in keeping NATO strong as both political and military alliance. Bulgaria will continue with its efforts to keeping NATO’s partnerships and enlargement as the Alliance greatest success stories.” Excerpts from the speech follow:

I would like to thank all of you who have come here today to attend the opening of the Graphic Design & Photo Exhibition “Bulgaria: 10 Years in NATO”. I highly appreciate your interest and especially your time in this busy period before the end of the year.

▲A post produced by Artist Nikolay Mladenov

The outgoing 2014 is a symbolic and significant year for Bulgaria and its membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), as this year we mark 10 years since my country joined the Alliance in 2004 together with Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. The round of enlargement in 2004 with seven countries, including Bulgaria, was an important milestone and I believe the new members have enriched and invigorated the Alliance.

Bulgaria's membership in NATO is a fundamental foreign policy priority and a key factor in ensuring our security and sovereignty. During the years of membership my country has made significant steps towards establishing itself as a full and active participant in the political dialogue and the allied NATO operations. Nowadays, Bulgaria is contributing actively in keeping NATO strong as both political and military alliance. Bulgaria will continue with its efforts to keeping NATO’s partnerships and enlargement as the Alliance greatest success stories. In October this year, the Government of Bulgaria decided to approve National Program: Bulgaria in NATO and in European Defense 2020”. The main subject of this program is the rearmament and modernization of the Bulgarian Army with no introduction of new combat equipment. In September this year a Center of Excellence in Investigating, Building and Improving NATO capabilities in Crisis Management and Disaster Relief was opened in Bulgaria. At that time, just days after the NATO summit in Wales, the President of Bulgaria H.E. Mr. Rosen Plevneliev most effectively drew attention to the fact that the instability of the conflicts in Ukraine, the Middle East and North Africa affect the security environment in Europe, representing common challenges for NATO and requiring a common reaction. In the view of our President, in addition to the threats and risks of asymmetrical nature, NATO allies should be prepared to effectively deal with the new type of “hybrid activities” for destabilization.

▲Ambassador Tomasz Kozlowski of the EU Delegation explains to Ambassadors Calin Fabian of Romania and Ramzi Teymurov of Azerbaijan and Mrs. Fabian (right to left) concerning a poster.

The 10th anniversary of our membership in the Organization is an occasion to take stock of the journey so far and to look forward to the future of NATO and the future of Bulgaria in the Alliance. The Graphic Design & Photo Exhibition “Bulgaria: 10 years in NATO” gives the viewers such an opportunity.
The State Institute for Culture to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with the National Academy of Arts, has organized a competition for original posters, dedicated to NATO and 10 years membership of Bulgaria in the Alliance, which involves leading lecturers from the Arts Academy and their students. The best posters could be seen by the Korean viewers at the exhibition. Another project of the State Cultural Institute was a historical documentary photo exhibition. The selection of photographs, provided by the Ministry of Defense and the National Military History Museum, presents the period 2004-2014, through the Bulgarian participation in NATO-led missions, trainings and negotiation processes and reflects the activities of our military reporters abroad. Earlier this year, the NATO leadership praised Bulgaria’s valuable contribution to NATO operations in Afghanistan, Kosovo and in protecting the people of Lybia, as well as its paramount role in strengthening cooperation with partners from Western Balkans.

▲A poster work done by Artist Stayan Dechv

Both projects could be viewed by Korean art-lovers thanks to the support provided by the Korean Foundation and the helping hand extended to the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Seoul by the Korean Culture Association. I would like to express my gratitude and high appreciation to Dr. Hyun-seok Yu, President, Korea Foundation and Mr.Jae-Min Jeong, President, Korean Culture Association for their kind efforts to organize this important to us event. I would like also to thank Mr. Mihal Ashminov and Mr.Vasil Terziiski from Zelen Bulgarian Restaurant and Balkan Trade company for preparing some food and Bulgarian wine for us.

The Republic of Korea shares similar strategic security concerns and key values with NATO member-states. The Republic of Korea is also counted among these countries, which are referred to as “partners across the globe”. Building on dialogue and cooperation that has been developed since 2005, an Individual Partnership and Cooperation Program was signed between NATO and ROK. It brings an additional special value to the Graphic Design & Photo Exhibition “Bulgaria: 10 years in NATO”.

이경식 기자  edt@koreapost.com

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